From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Neonme, Celebs, Magnús Jóhann & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Neonme, Celebs, Magnús Jóhann & More

Published October 27, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Neonme, Celebs, Magnús Jóhann & More
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Supplied by Neonme

This being the last Friday before Iceland Airwaves, this is musicians’ last chance to fill streaming services full of their sweet, sweet music. With less than a week to go, Airwaves is the Icelandic music industry’s busiest week, as demonstrated by the plethora of off-venue and on-venue performances, workshops, presentations, and general happenings in Reykjavík. Be sure to get your copy of the newest issue of the Reykjavík Grapevine, out November 3, where we dive a little deeper into Iceland Airwaves.

Neonme – Premiere
Released October 23

Salka Valsdóttir wears many hats. Not only does she write and perform her music via the artist moniker Neonme – she’s also a producer, sound engineer, composer, and sound designer. Having developed her stage persona with hip-hop collective Daughters of Reykjavík and duo Cyber, Salka presents a darker soundscape than usual on her latest album. Somewhere between the smooth RnB on “Ísak”, the harsh electronica of “Yet Again” – the video for which neonme debuted right here on the Grapevine – and “The Flower Phallus’” magical baroque pop, Neonme’s Premiere hits top marks. JB

Jelena Ciric – Shelters Two
Released October 26

Let Jelena Ciric carry you into a deep and pensive state with her soothing voice and mellow instrumentation. An extremely prolific singer-songwriter, Jelena’s folky repertoire is the perfect music for when you want that feeling of absolute comfort. Double that with the fall goodness we’re having these days, you’ve got just the right setting for a lazy day on the couch. Perhaps (hopefully) with some cats. JB

Magnús Jóhann – II
Released October 27

His first single since signing on to Iceland-focused, American label FOUND, it’s a wonder how Magnús gets up to writing his music. Working with as many artists as he does, I sometimes get the feeling that he’s got more hours in the day than us regular folks. On top of that, to write and produce beautiful piano music is no ordinary feat. “II” is Magnús’ first single off the forthcoming album Rofnar, out December 8. JB

Úlfur Úlfur – Hamfarapopp
Released October 27

It’s worth your time to check out Úlfur Úlfur’s newest release. Paving the way with their intellectual hip-hop since 2011 (slightly earlier if you count their previous project, Bróðir Svartúlfs), Úlfur Úlfur has constantly managed to stay fresh in the game. Joined by a host of guest artists, Úlfur’s friends featured on Hamfarapopp include Birnir, Emmsjé Gauti, Sin Fang, and Daughters of Reykjavík. JB

Celebs – I Love My Siblings
Released October 27

Those of you who have siblings know the push-pull dynamics of family members. You cycle between loving them and hating their absolute guts. Unlike Celebs, most of us don’t share a band with our brothers and sisters. The trio get to the truth about family, as singer Katla drawls: “I love my siblings, they are the worst.” As they prepare for their debut performance at Iceland Airwaves next week, Celebs wants to warm up your dancing muscles with the irresistible rhythm of their latest track. JB

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