From Iceland — Grapevine New Music: Emilíana Torrini, Jónfrí, JóiPé & Króli, & More

Grapevine New Music: Emilíana Torrini, Jónfrí, JóiPé & Króli, & More

Published March 15, 2024

Grapevine New Music: Emilíana Torrini, Jónfrí, JóiPé & Króli, & More
Photo by
Sveinbjörn Hafsteinsson

We hope it’s your favourite time of the week because it sure is ours. Apart from getting a list of some of the newest Icelandic music, you’ve got the whole weekend to unwind until the cogs have to start turning again on Monday morning. Featuring both established and upcoming artists, there’s surely something for everyone in this week’s Friday new music roundup. And don’t call me Shirley.

KUSK — 1000
Released March 8

After her debut at Iceland Airwaves this year, KUSK hasn’t slowed down or stopped working for a minute. The artist just released the first single from her upcoming album. “1000” is produced by her longtime collaborator Hrannar Máni, aka ÓVITI, and arranged by Hrannar and Kolbrún herself. Like all of KUSK’s music, “1000” feels very intimate with a dash of nostalgia for something. And while the language barrier still prevents me from understanding what the song is about, I hope there are at least a 1000 more songs by KUSK. IZ

Jónfrí — Draumur um Bronco
Released March 14

Jónfrí’s latest is a curious thing. Exhibiting a range of disparate genres, the artist creates a context where it’s all distinctly Jónfrí. “Andalúsía” brings an element of funk otherwise nonexistent on the album. The title track has the singer pining for a red Ford Bronco under breathy, country-esque instrumentation. Then there’s the strange maritime references in the album tracks —”Freðin ýsa” (haddock), “Sumarið er silungur” (trout) “Rækjubátar” (shrimp) — almost as if the artist has recently finished a stint as a fisherman. Nevertheless, Jónfrí has managed to release an enjoyable album filled with many memorable hooks. Soon, you’ll also be dreaming of a red Ford Bronco. JB

Geislar — Sunspot
Released March 11

Spearheaded by filmmaker Styrmir Sigurðsson, Geislar consists of some of the most top-drawer musicians in Iceland, including the nation’s favourite funeral singer Sigríður Thorlacious. The band dates all the way to 2014, when they released their debut Containing the Dark. “Sunspot” is their latest single off the forthcoming Supernature, out later in 2024. Although laid-back, “Sunspot” is irresistably groovy, where every piece moves in perfect synchronicity. There’s an unmistakable FÍH air over the track — effortlessly intricate but curious enough to pique one’s interest. JB

Emilíana Torrini — Let’s Keep Dancing
Released March 15

In her latest track, artist-extraordinaire Emilíana Torrini embraces dancehall rhythm. “Let’s Keep Dancing” is a snapshot of two lovers enjoying their last meeting together. Inspired by long-lost letters from Emilíana’s friend’s deceased mother, Geraldine Flower, the artist took to writing an album based on Geraldine’s stories. The forthcoming album, Miss Flower, will be Emilíana’s first solo record in 10 years. “Let’s Keep Dancing” is partly constructed from a song by the enigmatic Harold Prieto, a friend of Geraldine, adding an otherworldly atmosphere to Emilíana’s beckoning chorus. JB

JóiPé, Króli, USSEL — Scandipain vol. 1
Released March 15

It’s been no less than seven whole years since hip-hop duo Jóipé and Króli enchanted Icelandic listeners with the colossal “B.O.B.A.” As time goes by, the artist duo have branched out to include other projects. Króli has taken up acting, while JóiPé is writing advertisement jingles. All the while, they’ve been releasing three LPs since their debut. SCANDIPAIN vol.1 sees the duo continue their catchy pop music tradition with JóiPé and Króli pour their lyrical hearts out. This time, they’re aided by Danish artist Ussel, who nobody understands. JB

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