From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Bjarki, Skelkur í Bringu, LadieLex & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Bjarki, Skelkur í Bringu, LadieLex & More

Published July 21, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Bjarki, Skelkur í Bringu, LadieLex & More
Photo by
Art Bicnick

The Icelandic music community lost a real one this past week with the passing of band manager extraordinaire Gis Von Ice, his partner Anna Hildur announced last Friday. Having been instrumental in launching artists like Lay Low, Vök, For a Minor Reflection, and Eurovision darlings Hatari, Gis left a mark on the scene that can’t be measured. He was also a kind and universally beloved human and public figure. Countless loving tributes and outpourings have been made over social media. He will be missed and we send our condolences to his family, friends and many artists. Cheers to Gis!

Meanwhile, our new adorable volcano has attracted hordes of admirers, done a fancy crater collapse, and floated noxious gasses all over the capital. Real mixed reviews from us to Litli-Hrútur! We also had a big technical whoopsie this week in the production of our podcast 66 Degrees of Sound, so sadly we don’t have a fresh one today. Here are the tracks we would have played though, plus more! Go have a listen to our very fun last episode, and pop on our Spotify playlist on your volcano hike!

Draugar – Animal
Released July 14

This indie track by the mysterious indie band Draugar (Ghosts) came as a pleasant surprise last week. I say mysterious because the cover art and accompanying video feature people wearing gorilla masks. Not much is known about this band at the moment (maybe that’s just the way they like it), but what we do know is that more is to come. Jangly guitars, a soft-spoken vocalist – it sounds like we’re in the noughties again. It’s a feel-good indie-rock track that’s certain to put you in a good mood. JB

Inki – This One For Me
Released July 14

With her brand new EP, avant-garde pop artist Inki makes her mission statement at the very top with the title track full of heartbreak and confusion over skittering beats and layered synth textures. It’s a powerful and brave opening to a rather devastating collection, immediately followed by a funereal organ dirge that drives home the tone. The second half picks back up into beautifully produced, dark and unsettling art-pop tracks. Inki is working through grief and coming out strong. RX

Skelkur í Bringu – Lúmski Snákurinn
Released July 15

Much like Bjarki, down below, bringing stupid joy to the club, Skelkur í Bringu bring delightful insanity to punk. Led by the uniquely compelling DJ Flugvél og Geimskip, these art-school offshoots are truly the chaotic good quadrant of our underground music scene. The track’s title means “the sneaky snake” and lyrically paints graphic novel-esque scenes over bass-dominant surfy riffs, at the perfect tempo to do a dance-mosh. Catch them live as soon as possible for their full light show experience! RX

LadieLex – LadieLex
Released July 21

After much buildup and excitement, LadieLex’s first self-titled EP is finally out in the light! The former Hellvar guitarist moved to Sweden several years ago, where she transitioned into her solo glory and wrote and produced this collection. Full of crunchy guitars, bouncy new wave synths, and catchy vocal hooks, she’s giving a flavour of pop-rock goodness that’s fully her own. Truly a standout release and not one to sleep on. RX

Bjarki – Rave Daddy
Released July 21

The use of parental monikers as sexy terms made a really big comeback within the past decade, but my old millennial ass remembers when they were goofy and cringe. So does Bjarki, it seems, as his new high bpm speed-chomping club hit subverts the term back to its silly core. With AI-generated pseudo-sensual vocal bits and rather comical samples sprinkled throughout, it’s delightfully stupid. It’s made for joyful abandon and laughing on the club floor whilst getting sweaty. Be your own rave daddy. RX

Thórunn Salka – Freedom
Released July 21

A new artist on the horizon, Thórunn Salka released her debut single “Freedom” in conjunction with the 2023 Slut Walk. The song’s message has a direct connection to the ideals and aims of the Slut Walk, as it covers the artist’s emotions towards being sexually assaulted. A melancholic pop tune which tackles the grave subject matter with mature sensitivity. Thórunn performs the song on during the Slut Walk solidarity meeting at Austurvöllur on Saturday, July 23. JB

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