From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Una Torfa, Hipsumhaps, Soffía Björg & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Una Torfa, Hipsumhaps, Soffía Björg & More

Published August 14, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Una Torfa, Hipsumhaps, Soffía Björg & More
Photo by
Art Bicnick/The Reykjavík Grapevine

Don’t get stuck in post-Pride party blues, because here are some tracks that’ll help you get out of your rut. If you never want to miss what’s happening in Icelandic music, consider checking out our weekly new music podcast, 66 Degrees of Sound. This week, journalist Jói is joined by Ólöf Rún Benediktsdóttir, member of darkwave band Svartþoka. Happy Friday, y’all!

Tsunnami – Almindelig
Released August 4 

In Danish, “almindelig” means ordinary. There’s nothing ordinary about Tsunnami’s recent single. The moniker of the Icelandic musician Sunna Guðlaugsdóttir, Tsunnami exhibits the best of both Icelandic and Danish worlds. Performing in Danish – her second language – I would probably understand more if I’d paid more attention in Danish class. You don’t need to know Danish in order to recognise the scandi-pop goodness and top-class songwriting which Tsunnami articulates. JB

Una Torfa – Þú ert stormur
Released August 8

Written as the official song for Pride 2023, Una Torfa brings peace, love, happiness and rainbows to all listeners with “Þú ert stormur”. With the track, Una has said she wants to defy queer people’s need to constantly define themselves. Written in collaboration with her partner, Hafsteinn Þráinsson (aka Ceasetone), Una Torfa manages to perfectly encapsulate a pop song for the masses. JB

Brenndu Bananarnir – Strætólagið
Released August 10 

Sometimes you need a break from all those hip musicians with their complicated shoes and you need to feel young and silly. Relative newcomers Brenndu Bananarnir (“the burned bananas”) bring that innocent simplicity with their upbeat lo-fi 2007-indie-movie twee-rock. Their newest release is an ode to bus travel, which in a city with terrible public transportation, maybe isn’t so positive. But hey, it could be the new jingle for the improvement of our infrastructure! RX

Hipsumhaps – Hjarta
Released August 11

Good old Hipsumhaps is back again with a new track, after releasing their ode to his car, “Góðir hlutir gerast hæææægt”, released in June. Singer Fannar Ingi Friðþjófsson wrote the band’s newest single “Hjarta” in collaboration with Atli Bollason. Drawing from his childhood experiences, Fannar was born with a heart defect and underwent an operation at the age of three. “Hjarta” sees Fannar’s continuation of quirky lyricism on top of easy-listening instrumentation, of which there is more to come on a forthcoming album. JB

Soffía – Promises
Released August 11 

Soffía’s had it with all the lies and heartbreak and is all about her Gibson guitar from here on out. On the first single from her upcoming third album, the accomplished singer-songwriter tells a fragmented tale of where she’s been, where she’s at and what she wants. Her signature soulful vocals are defiant and sensual, brimming with shake-it-off confidence. The track, and forthcoming album, is produced by Pétur Ben, whose sensibility perfectly matches her bluesy mom-rock vibe. RX

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