From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: VARNA, Mávar, Jadzia & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: VARNA, Mávar, Jadzia & More

Published July 28, 2023

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Provided by Marvaða

Here we are again, the final Friday of the month. Everyone’s been on holiday, including our higher-ups here at Grapevine HQ, and things have felt very quiet. It’s also been a relatively quiet month in new music releases, which isn’t that surprising — if you are a musician reading this, you may have experienced the woes of getting releases off the ground during the summer months. What has come out has been super diverse, interesting, surprising and really fun. If you are about to drop a new release, shoot us an email! And pick up our 11th issue that just hit the streets! And listen to our Spotify playlist!!! Happy weekend, everybody.

Mávar – Hér, þar sem illgresið vex
Released July 7
You gotta love some harsh noise, and what better way to start the weekend off than with an album all about personal desolation and all-around gloom? You are in for a treat, because Mávar has you covered. Hér, þar sem illgresið vex (Here, where the weeds grow) is a 6-track record full of metaphysical pain, existential dread, and unsettling emotions. With tracks like “This town will be the Death of me” and “Systematic Breakdown of the Ego, you’ll definitely score some cool points by putting this on at a party. Maybe not, and you’ll just end up smoking cigarettes inside with people you’ve chosen to align yourself with. JB

Jadzia – Hidden Universe EP
Released July 21
Jadzia doesn’t mess around when it comes to making the soundtrack of A Good Time. Their newest release, Hidden Universe, includes bops, grunts, house, dance, and techno nestled within each track. Bringing that big Berlin club vibe to our microcosm of a house scene, Jadzia is truly a dancefloor stand-out in terms of energy and production level. It’s really sexy sweaty stuff. Having risen from the local DJ decks to starting to drop singles in 2021, we hope there will be more bangers coming out way from them soon. Catch them on the dancefloor. RX

Flammeus – The Son Who Went Missing
Released July 21
Alright, we admit it – we are jaded, cynical, music snobs. But we still love to be surprised and fall in love with music we never expected. This was the case with Flammeus’ new single, “The Son Who Went Missing”. Startling out with a simple singer-songwriter vibe, the track builds and grows into a swell of harmonies, interesting chord changes, and deep emotion. Reminiscent of mid-era Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, the heartfelt track about the age-old idea that you can never go home again is admittedly quite maudlin, but it’s fucking great. We did not expect to love this, and we really do. RX

Released July 28
What do Iceland and Greenland have in common? For one, they have both been under Danish subjugation – although it’s fair to say that Greenland got the short end of that stick, as they’re still under Danish control and experience harsher colonial measures implemented by the authorities. This facet doesn’t escape VARNA, who debuts her musical journey with the track “IDDORARPI”. The song is pummelled forward by a powerful drumbeat and gasps for air, layered underneath an electronic soundscape. Produced by artist neonme, the track is the first off a forthcoming album, released via the new label Marvaða. A stunning production. JB

Addi & Hera Lind – Is This How It Starts?
Released July 28

“Is This How It Starts?” is a transcontinental collaboration of Icelandic musician Hera Lind and UK-based Addi, written via the Internet from the comfort of their bedrooms. It’s a dreamy soulful tune with a dash of nostalgia about the passing summer and love that lasted too short or possibly never happened. Hera is soon to release her first album and we’re really looking forward to listening to it; her TikTok videos will make you laugh. IZ

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