From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Elín Hall, Sunna Margrét, Kvikindi, & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Elín Hall, Sunna Margrét, Kvikindi, & More

Published November 7, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Elín Hall, Sunna Margrét, Kvikindi, & More
Photo by
Margrét Gyða Jóhanns

Holy hell! Iceland Airwaves just finished, leaving everyone slightly associated with the festival absolutely knackered. Nights of checking out live acts results in a hefty number of Airwaves diaries. With the festival happening, things got so busy at the Grapevine HQ that we totally forgot about our weekly Friday New Music Roundup. Fret not, it’s here in all its glory. Don’t forget to check out our monthly podcast, 66 Degrees of Sound, to stay on top of the best new releases. 

Released October 31

Newcomers Fókus recently released their debut album, Obsessed. The band won Músíktilraunir 2023, and like all winners of the competition, were gifted with studio time in Studio Sundlaug. Produced by Albert Finnbogason, the EP is an excellent first release.  Based on the 18-year-olds songwriting efforts, Obsessed presents a curious amalgamation of distorted guitars, classical piano styles and interesting 90s nostalgia — despite all band members being born in the 21st century. JB

Elín Hall – heyrist í mér?
Released November 3

Musician and thespian Elín Hall has had a busy few years. Starring in the hit musical 9 Líf, chronicling the life of artist Bubbi Morthens, Elín has built a considerate reputation for herself as a musician. Heyrist í mér is Elín’s sophomore record, having released Með Öðrum Orðum in 2020. Full of solemn introspection, with ballads highlighting the acoustic guitar, the album makes up for its composed atmo with energetic pop bangers like “Bankastræti.” At the forefront of it all, is Elín’s tender voice and her beautiful use of the Icelandic language. JB

Sunna Margrét – Chocolate
Released November 3

This trip-hop-infused art-pop track is the latest by musician and visual artist Sunna Margrét. “Chocolate” has Sunna ponder the possibility of time travel and whether it’d be a feasible option to change one’s life course. Well, being adequately versed on the subject, my response would be a “no.” Let Sunna Margrét’s spoken-word verses put you into a trance. The chorus’ glorious (and tasty) lyrics go: “There’s no need to worry, like chocolate and cheese,” which is what I’ll think about from now on whenever I get stressed out.  JB

Kvikindi – Ríða Mér
Released November 2

As outrageous as it is infectious, Kvikindi’s latest single starts out with the anthemic lines: “I want you to fuck me like the naughty girl I am.” “Ríða Mér” has singer Brynhildur contrasting passion with the dystopic state of the world. Carefully packaged with synth-pop instrumentation, Kvikindi demonstrates their songwriting prowess once again. JB

GusGus – Unfinished Symphony
Released November 3

Techno royalty GusGus have blessed us with a new release. “Unfinished Symphony” checks all the boxes of a bouncy dance anthem. Swirling synths, sweeping rhythm, and hazy vocals make this a perfect track to close your eyes to on the dance floor (or in your living room) and let the beat take you away. JB

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