From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Varna GL, Celebs, Diljá & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Varna GL, Celebs, Diljá & More

Published August 18, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks:  Varna GL, Celebs, Diljá & More
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Provided by Marvaða

It’s Friday and you know what means: it’s time to bring you some piping hot new tracks fresh off the line! This Friday’s also the official “end of summer” here – although many would ask “what summer?” School’s back in session next week, to the joy of parents and dismay of kids, and everyone’s expected back from summer vacay now. You can officially end the season with all the fun and parties of Culture Night tomorrow, or just stay home and blast The Reykjavík’s Grapevine’s official Spotify playlist.

Varna GL – QAARDULU (raven)

Released August 14

It’s been less than a month since the release of Varna GL’s first single “IDDORARPI (city)” and already she is gracing us with another incredible track. Giving us no time to catch our breath, Varna GL is taking us out of the city and onto the loudly beating wings of a screeching raven soaring over the sea ice. Incorporating traditional drumming from her Greenlandic Indigenous heritage, the heavy processing care of producer Salka Valsdóttir (aka Neonme) and Varna’s acrobatic vocals deliver something we are dying to see live. RX

Celebs & Diljá Pétursdóttir – Ég sé rautt

Released August 15

Entering to compete for Eurovision in Iceland is serious business, as sibling pop band Celebs and powerhouse singer Diljá both know all too well. Diljá, of course, won the chance to head to the big show — but didn’t make it to finals — and Celebs were runners-up at Söngvakeppnin. Were they all seeing red with fury at their near-wins? Maybe a little! But mostly they were seeing the shimmering red joy of Celebs’ own party monster! They all teamed up to bring us this high energy banging cover of Unun’s 1994 punk hit, proving that they are true masters of karate and friendship for everyone. RX

Árný Margrét – waiting

Released August 16

On her third single of the year, singer-songwriter Árný Margrét brings an extremely relatable ode to rumination and loneliness. Defying the tone of her gently cheerful finger-picked guitar, the lyrics are full of heartbreak, loss, and a sense of abandonment. “I would disappear and my plants would still grow,” she laments at a point of fearing she could die alone in her sadness. It’s extremely vulnerable, saying what many of us feel but don’t dare to say aloud. Honestly, so brave. RX

Ari Árelíus – Endless Summer

Released August 18

Looking at Ari Árelíus’ cover art makes you both happy and sad, first of all, because the handmade paper sun on Ari’s head is the only sun in Iceland today and most likely for the months to come. Whether you like it or not, Ari will get this song stuck in your head with the first listen! Endless summer in Iceland? Hell, no! Talented Icelandic musicians? A bunch! IZ

Árstíðir – The Wave

Released August 18

Forging ahead in the depths of an Icelandic sea storm is truly treacherous — the frigid winds pummeling you so hard it feels kinda personal. Árstíðir’s newest single from their upcoming album BLIK uses this metaphor for achieving one’s goals in the face of negativity and criticism. Rolling in like a tidal wave of rich vocal harmonies, textured strings and self-empowering lyrics, it’s a true fight-song that solidifies what Árstíðir have been striving towards for well over a decade. Keep rushing to shore, lads. RX

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