From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Ingibjörg Turchi, Benjamín Gísli Trio, Bríet & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Ingibjörg Turchi, Benjamín Gísli Trio, Bríet & More

Published August 25, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Ingibjörg Turchi, Benjamín Gísli Trio, Bríet & More
Photo by
Art Bicnick

With school starting again, people flock to the streets and into their everyday routines. If you’re bored of listening to that same radio show on your way to work, let this list of brand new music occupy the humdrum of mundanity. There’s no need for your commute to be a waste of time, so let’s rejoice and dive into a collection of excellent Icelandic music. Filled with jazz, indie, pop and dance music, there’s surely something for everyone.

Ingibjörg Turchi – Epta
Released August 1

Acclaimed bassist and composer Ingibjörg Turchi is one of those slow-burners with so many tricks up their sleeve. Her new single with her self-named band of musical geniuses is perfect evidence of that, starting off as a super simple solo riff, then rapidly and masterfully building into a dizzying swirl of dreamy jazzy pop. It’s refreshing and beautiful. You gotta watch out for those quiet ones! RX

Jónfrí – Andalúsía
Released August 18

You don’t have to speak Icelandic for this track to teleport you to a beach in Spain. Sangria in your hand, the sun warming your skin and disco music blasting from a nearby beach bar. But wake up! You’re in downtown Reykjavík and that’s a whole other lot of sensations. Can I at least get a sangria in 101? IZ

Benjamín Gísli Trio – Line Of Thought
Released August 18

Ya like jazz? Pop these cool cats on your hi-fi and enjoy some real smooth tunes, man. The debut album by the Benjamín Gísli Trio is a warm, relaxing, soothing collection crafted in the tradition of Nordic jazz. With a classic setup of piano, upright bass and drums, the tracks feel rich and full with intricate, lyrical melodies and clever harmonies that get deep into your ears and down to your core. Dig those jazzy grooves. RX

Benni Hemm Hemm & Óháði Kvennakórinn – Ruslið 
Released August 24

In this hilarious track, Benni Hemm Hemm of 00’s indie royalty joins Óháði Kvennakórinn (The Independent Women’s Choir). “Ruslið” has the ensemble asking two critical questions. Where is the trash, and where is the bathroom? The song itself is driven by a lively backing band, with Benni’s and the choir’s voices weaving in and around each other.  A highly entertaining single that has you pondering those same questions all throughout the day. JB

Daði Freyr – I Made An Album
Released August 25

Back in March, our beloved Eurovision delegate Daði Freyr told us he was making an album with his EP I’m Making An Album. Then in May came I’m Still Making An Album. So he was punking us. Now the result of his long-game prank is out, and I Made An Album is the punchline we wanted! Full of his signature bombastic heartfelt synthop, it’s the joyful cutiepie music we need for this end of summer/back to school time. RX

Elín Hall – Rauðir Draumar
Released August 25

“Rauðir Draumar” or ‘red dreams’ in Icelandic, is the soundtrack for the upcoming Icelandic film Kuldi (Cold) by Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen, which will be released in cinemas on September 1. Elín Hall, apart from composing the soundtrack, also stars in the film. The track is hauntingly beautiful and we can’t wait to experience it on the big screen. IZ

Bríet and Ásgeir – Venus
Released August 25

Sex! Did we get your attention? Good. Because according to Bríet and Ásgeir, this track is all about having sex. Mind blowing sex, at that. It’s true that Venus is the goddess of beauty, so not much is left to the imagination here. Musically, it’s no “Let’s Get It On”, but we anticipate this being added to some sex-o-rific playlists in the near future. Apparently four years in the making, I wish they’d spent less time doing field research, and more time crafting a better pop song. JB

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