From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Pálmi Gunnarsson, Ultraflex, Daniil & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Pálmi Gunnarsson, Ultraflex, Daniil & More

Published August 4, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Pálmi Gunnarsson, Ultraflex, Daniil & More
Photo by
Joana Fontinha

Is it the long weekend yet? Almost! Tomorrow kicks off Merchant’s Day weekend (Verslunamannahelgi) and we’ve got some fresh new jams for your road trip playlist! Some lucky folks have already knocked off early to turn it into a sweet-ass four-day vacay, but not us — we’re here doing the good Óðin’s work of making sure the new tunes are delivered to the people. You’re welcome. Now if you don’t mind, we’re gonna head to the country, set up some folding chairs in a field and crack open a cold one. Party on, dudes.

Released July 28

If you’re unfamiliar with general Nordic languages, you may be a little puzzled by that slashed-O (which Rex and Jói have discussed on 66 Degrees of Sound as being on par with band names’ use of Ö in the 80s), but basically, it makes this name to sound like “bad stuff”. That self-deprecating moniker is hilarious, but absolutely untrue. If swooping, dreamy, cinematic ambient is your level, this is a must. Serving textured, warm, emotive soundscapes with the gentle twisting of knobs, this four-track EP is the perfect soundtrack to this season of blue nights. This is very good støf. RX

Lea – Wish We Were There Now
Released July 28

The true gift of a talented singer-songwriter is being able to convey profound, complex stories and emotions with the simplest of tools. After releasing her bombastic, lush synthpop debut single “Skylines” earlier this year, newcomer Lea strips everything back to voice and piano on her new deeply earnest, moving single. Describing the helpless sadness of witnessing one’s partner gripped by depression, it’s a true call to allies of those suffering from the affliction — no shaming the one they love, no blaming the one in pain, just desperately hoping they can help them get to the other side together. RX

Ultraflex – Digg Digg Deilig
Released August 2

As I sit in the office trying to finish everything before my vacation, I couldn’t have opted for a better soundtrack than Ultraflex’s latest track “Digg Digg Deilig” from their upcoming album Chill Pill Vol. V, out on August 25th. Ultraflex has always been an equivalent of something chill, dreamy and nostalgic and so is their new track. “Digg Digg Deilig,” which is the band’s first single in Norwegian and translates as “Yummy Yummy Delicious” is an ode to good food, ice lollies on the beach and sunkissed cheeks. I’m literary off to Norway tomorrow, so guess what I’ll listen to on the plane? You should do too. Vi liker det. IZ

Daniil feat. Lil Binni – Elska
Released August 3

An ode to those hazy club nights and situationships that are forged on uneven grounds, “Elska” has popstars Daniil and Lil Binni (of ClubDub fame) repeat the statement, “You love me. You don’t love me.” Presumably while pulling petals off an ox-eye daisy. Although a flower ultimately cannot make that prediction, as it is a plant, Daniil and Lil Binni still yearn for that special someone. This is a track for people who just wanna know what love is, and want you to show them. JB/RX

Öngþveiti feat. Lord Pusswhip – GELLURÍADIDASGÖLLUM
Released August 4

This no-wave-inspired hip-hop track is the newest from the underground label Heavy Knife Records, which we covered in our previous issue. Here, newcomer Öngþveiti – a project by artist Frumburður and rapper Axel – stumble over their lyrics under a sluggish, discordant beat. Heavy Knife label founder Lord Pusswhip joins the track, spitting seemingly non-sensical rhymes – until you listen to it again, which you should do because the track doesn’t even reach two minutes. JB

Pálmi Gunnarsson – Ég skal breyta heiminum
Released August 4

A true legend, the one and only Pálmi Gunnarsson is back with a brand-new single! In his first release since 2021, The Great Sir Pálmi tells us that he will change the world, and all we wanna tell him is: you already have 😍! Between taking us to the Bank of Joy with ICY at Eurovision ‘86, his canon smash-hit “Þorparinn”, and not forgetting his band Mannakorn, Icelandic music simply wouldn’t be what it is without him. This sweet mid-tempo ballad gives that late 80s heartwarming vibe that makes you want to group-singalong. Very 3 am at the countryside wedding when you’re about to have your first kiss with your future spouse. Keep on changing the world, Pálmi ❤️! RX

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