From Iceland — Grapevine New Music: Mikael Máni, GDRN, Dustin O'Halloran & More

Grapevine New Music: Mikael Máni, GDRN, Dustin O’Halloran & More

Published March 22, 2024

Grapevine New Music: Mikael Máni, GDRN, Dustin O’Halloran & More
Photo by
Art Bicnick/The Reykjavík Grapevine

Yay. It’s Friday. Can’t you tell my excitement based on those first three words? As with every Friday — save for the first two months of the year *cough* — we bring you a rundown of the best new tracks released in Iceland. Featuring Mikael Máni’s expressive instrumental guitar piece, Dustin O’Halloran’s electronic compositions that make you think and GDRN’s world-class RnB. You can also find Andervel and Jóhann Egill’s latest releases. Happy Friday!

Mikael Máni — She’ll Arrive Between 10 & 11
Released March 15
Award-winning guitar virtuoso Mikael Máni has a lot of irons in his fire. Having recently won the 2023 Icelandic Music Awards for best jazz album, the artist is releasing his fourth solo LP later in March, dubbed Guitar Poetry. And let me tell you, that title delivers. “She’ll Arrive Between 10 & 11” starts solemnly, as Mikael gently plucks his strings. Cascading into a whirlwind of distorted chords, the artist exhibits a range of emotions on the track. Armed with nothing but his instrument, that’s what I call a guitar poet. JB

Dustin O’Halloran — 1001
Released March 22
A musical tour-de-force, Dustin O’Halloran releases the captivating 1001 via Deutsche Gramophone. The album is itself an expansion of the electronic composition “1 0 0 1”, premiered at Minneapolis’ Liquid Music Series with choreographer Fukiko Takase. Serving as a musical exploration of the mind’s nature, the artist contemplates the implications of artificial intelligence. We recommend you sit down for this one, taking in the music as you would a painting. Perhaps while watching the accompanying music video, directed by Markus Englmair. JB

GDRN — Frá mér til þín
Released March 22

Icelandic pop star GDRN (Guðrún Ýr Eyfjörð) just released her latest, Frá mér til þín. Eight songs of top-class pop songwriting and infectious melodies layered on top of groovy RnB beats. This is GDRN at her best. Featuring the radio hit “Parísarhjól” and the heart-clenching “Ævilangt”, both inspired by Guðrún’s child, there’s an unprecedented depth and maturity on this record. Frá mér til þín employs a long roster of excellent musicians, including GDRN’s longtime collaborator Magnús Jóhann, all adding their merit to this stellar production. JB

Andervel — A kinder way
Released March 22

José Luis Anderson —Andervel— shows us that there is another way of treating our fellow humans. There’s a kinder way. Inspired by the artist’s journey towards personal growth, this dreamy track alludes to compassion and tolerance in interpersonal relationships. Influenced by Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, its delicate arrangements encourage you to turn to your neighbours, embracing them with a big hug. JB

Jóhann Egill — Lucid Dreaming Moments
Released March 22

Catching our attention at the Grapevine offices back in December, this newcomer is now following up his potential displayed on singles “Raining Crystals” and “Sand”. Lucid Dreaming Moments is a barn stomping, bass-thumping, syncopated dance offering, enticing you to flip your desk and —if you have access to one— hang from the chandelier while you turn Jóhann’s record up to eleven. Influenced by electronica heroes GusGus, the album features a nod to Prince with the cover of “Purple Rain”. JB

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