From Iceland — Grapevine New Music: Björk, Mikael Máni, Une Misère & More

Grapevine New Music: Björk, Mikael Máni, Une Misère & More

Published November 24, 2023

Grapevine New Music: Björk, Mikael Máni, Une Misère & More
Photo by
James Merry

We once again ask for your ears’ attention this Friday, so you could have a listen to these phenomenal Icelandic music releases. We hope that his list of new tracks will augment your day and send you off into the weekend in a joyous mood. By the way, this week is slightly better than the last one, because Björk’s long-awaited single “Oral” dropped. A collaborative charity track with Rosalía, all proceeds go towards Aegis, an NGO dedicated to nature conservation and fighting against sea-based fish farming. You can read our exclusive Q&A with Björk right here.

Magnús Jóhann – I
Released November 17

It’s been over a year since musical prodigy Magnús Jóhann’s last album, so when he released a new single from the upcoming album on October 27, his fans around the world definitely held their breath for a masterpiece. “I” is the second single from Rofnar (out December 8) and, compared to the artist’s previous work, feels more suspenseful, as if Magnús is anticipating something bad to happen. Maybe it’s the winter blues, or maybe we just need to listen to the new album back to back. IZ

Mikael Máni – Innermost
Released November 18

Dreamy and inquisitive, Mikael Máni’s latest instrumental jazz album Innermost is the special treat your ears need right now. Based on the artist’s teenage years, the album conceptualises Mikael’s musical influences and the effects it had on him. Performed by an A-team of instrumentalists, Innermost manages to capture the earnest quality of adolescence, when life was but a little bit simpler. JB

Released November 20

It’s long been established that Ægir Sindri Bjarnason is a man of many talents. Ægir’s work includes skilful drumming, producing artists, organising concerts at his DIY venue R6013, and releasing music under his own moniker. BRIDGES II is a 10-hour-long experimental album, where feedback – in all shapes and sizes – plays a central role. A collection of “mostly unedited performances,” according to the artist, the album material was recorded in one week at Dansverkstæðið. As Ægir explains, BRIDGES II is only the first creation sprouting from the seeds he planted over the course of that prolific week. JB

Björk & Rosalía – Oral
Released November 21

Joining forces for the first time, artists Björk and Rosalía teamed up to release “Oral”. Based on a 20-year-old track which got lost in Björk’s archives, the track’s songwriting is highly evocative of Björk’s older works. Announced in early October, Björk explained that “Oral” would be released to further the fight against sea-based fish farming – a sector destructive to Iceland’s marine ecosystem. All proceeds from the song go towards Aegis, a non-profit organisation dedicated to nature conservation and fighting industrial fish farming. You can help out by donating. JB

Une Misère – DAMNED
Released November 24

Violent and bleak, Une Misére’s latest EP hits all the marks when it comes to producing skull-shattering hardcore. Since the release of their debut album Sermon in 2019, the band has undergone a certain transformation with a change in their line-up. DAMNED demonstrates they’re louder and harsher than ever before. Next up for the gang of rockers is a worldwide tour, where they will lay waste to stages all over the globe. JB

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