From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Laufey, LÓN, Ingibjörg Turchi & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Laufey, LÓN, Ingibjörg Turchi & More

Published September 1, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Laufey, LÓN, Ingibjörg Turchi & More
Photo by
Art Bicnick

As the new month rolls in, we are contractually obligated to remind everyone to give Billy Joe Armstrong a wake up call when September ends. The weather hits us with the stark realisation that summer is officially over, as the southwestern corner of the country (and other parts as well) is issued a yellow weather warning. Tuck into your warm layers, try not to get sucked into the storm and cue up a fantastic sequence of new Icelandic music. The first Friday of September does not disappoint.

Laufey – California and Me
Released August 24

We really don’t have to do much preamble for Laufey, as the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter has already made quite a name for herself over the past three years. Specialising in the art of love songs, her latest EP highlights my own absolute favourite kind — the torch song. With ultra lush, velvety, classically retro compositions, her rich mezzo-soprano voice truly shines through, delivering every single lyric with expressive depth. Pour yourself a glass of wine and pine for the one who got away. RX

Los Bomboneros – ¡Mambó!
Released August 25

Emerging from the Reykjavík jazz scene are Latin group Los Bomboneros, releasing their debut album ¡Mambó! It’s a lively album full of Central and South American flavours guaranteed to make those frosty Scandinavian hips sway to the rhythm of bossa nova swing. Comprised of professionally trained musicians, Los Bomboneros are set to turn up the heat in the Icelandic music scene. JB

Ingibjörg Turchi – Stropha
Released September 1

Having just dropped a first single last week, we are very pleased that we didn’t have to wait long for Ingibjörg Turchi to give us the works. Her sophomore album Stropha is taking her fascinating, complex, sophisticated approach to experimental jazz to a whole new level. It’s not just how the songs are composed but also how they are played that particularly stands out, with each performer bringing distinct qualities that elevate each piece. There’s so much character, playfulness, intellect and joy in this album. It’s simply marvellous. RX

LÓN – Cold Crisp Air
Released September 1

It seems LÓN has completely departed from their previous rock-oriented style to a more relaxed and gentle sound. “Cold Crisp Air” is an ode to the arrival of autumn in town, perhaps symbolising a new beginning. Vocalist Valdimar Guðmundsson sings, “We could leave this all behind. Reinvent ourselves. Start again,” and I’m already plotting a fresh start on Monday. It’s a melancholic yet beautiful reflection, much like life itself. What’s not to love about it? IZ

Sóðaskapur – Sóðaskapur
Released September 1

These young punks have been kicking around Reykjavík’s underground for the past couple of years, releasing a series of very DIY-jangly singles over the past year. Now their first full-length album shows the band progressing and starting to find their footing. With so much emphasis on polish in pop music, it’s admirable and refreshing to get something raw and messy and defying the ideas of perfection. We do hope to see them grow and dig deeper into their well of experience and vulnerability as they forge ahead. RX

Juno Paul – Incel
Released September 1

Don’t let the spicy title fool you — this track is not some misogynist manifesto that should make us worry about Juno Paul. It seems to be tongue-in-cheek, from what we get of the heavily muffled lyrics under shredding pop-punk riffs and a fun yet melancholic beep-boopy synth line. It’s definitely giving late 90s “I guess this is growing up” coming-of-age anthem. Having made himself known as one to watch earlier this year at Músiktilraunir, Juno Paul continues to have our attention. RX

Moss Kissing – notes on trip
Released September 1

Describing himself as an audiographer, musician and performer Moss Kissing’s new album is a collection of sound memories, researched scenes of life transformed into audioscapes. Spanning his journeys over summer 2022, the Lisboa-based artist’s biggest inspiration and focal point of the album is the time he spent in Reykjavík, connecting with the DIT community around post-dreifing and Mengi. This album is in fact released on post-dreifing, proving that community truly knows no bounds. RX


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