From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Geigen, Laufey, Ari Árelíus & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Geigen, Laufey, Ari Árelíus & More

Published September 8, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Geigen, Laufey, Ari Árelíus & More
Photo by
Joana Fontinha

This week, we celebrate with an all new print issue of the Reykjavík Grapevine. Its cover feature dives into the controversy surrounding Icelandic whaling practises. Earlier in the week, two environmental activists – Anahita Babaei and Elissa Bijou – chained themselves to the whaling ships docked in the Reykjavík harbour. They were later subdued and were given a fine. The owner of Iceland’s only whaling company Hvalur hf., Kristján Loftsson, has declared he’ll press charges. So, if you want to learn more about whaling in Iceland, read our newest issue!

Geigen – Geist
Released September 1

Have you ever wondered what happens when you take a violin and make it sound like a barrage of synthesizer sounds? Well first of all, you get Geigen in all its iterations. Second, you’re privy to a wonderfully rich techno music. Formed by composer Pétur Eggertsson and choreographer Gígja Jónsdóttir, the duo started out their techno-violin project in San Francisco, back in 2018. Since then, they’ve hosted their famed Geigen Galaxies – multi-media concert experiences featuring dance, art, and those aristocratic powdered wigs. With their newest release, they continue to subvert the traditional status of the violin with techno-bangers suitable for the club. JB

Laufey – Bewitched
Released September 8

Laufey is a star to behold. Having amassed a huge following in recent years, she is a long way from her humble beginnings writing jazz songs from her bedroom. Laufey has completely leaned into the old-world soundscape, conjuring up images of California sunsets and star-spangled Hollywood with her music. With Bewitched, Laufey creates a world somewhere on the line between pre-war LA and Disneyland. Whatever your thoughts on either concepts, Laufey joined the ranks of Iceland’s biggest stars a long time ago. JB

Red Riot – Got This Thing
Released September 8

The duo of songwriting pros Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir and Ragna Kjartansdóttir (Cell7), Red Riot is bringing on a Dance Dance Revolution.  Their latest track “Got This Thing” is a smooth and sweet pop-track in every sense of those words. A stellar blend of RnB, pop, and electronica, the duo utilise every tool in their songwriting arsenal to craft a radio smash. Look out for the bridge featuring Cell7’s rhythmical spits. JB

Gosi – Ekki Spurning
Released September 8

Hailing from Ísafjörður in the Westfjords, Gosi releases the second track off his forthcoming album. Delightfully boppy by way of the intricately linked bass and electric guitar, the song is slightly reminiscent of Northern-Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club. Produced by Celebs’ sibling Valgeir Skorri Vernharðsson, the drummer’s influences are expertly conveyed on the track, demonstrating that no one is safe from the infectious vibes of dancey synth-pop. JB

Ari Árelíus – Sumar Gleymist
Released September 8

Expanding on his previous release “Endless Summer,” Ari Árelíus has now had it with the sunny season. His latest track, “Sumar Gleymist” (Summer Is Forgotten), celebrates the end of summer. Here, Ari continues to build on his newfound affinity for avant-garde and afrobeat music. Inspired by the seminal novel Dune, Ari’s guitar gives a slight nod to North African desert rock. This is Ari’s second track released by American record label FOUND, which exclusively promotes Icelandic artists. JB

Fókus – Stalker
Released September 8

When the winners of this year’s Músíktilraunir sound like the winning band of a West-Coast Battle of the Bands from the 90s, you know we’re going through a cultural cycle. The all-female five-piece Fókus hail from Höfn í Hornafjörður and Selfoss in South Iceland. The 400 kilometre distance between the two towns must make band practises something to schedule well in advance. “Stalker” is one of the three songs the band performed at Músíktilraunir, and honestly makes me want to go buy a black leather jacket and some fishnet sleeves. JB

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!