From Iceland — Grapevine New Music: BSÍ, Kiasmos, Magnús Jóhann, Eivør & More

Grapevine New Music: BSÍ, Kiasmos, Magnús Jóhann, Eivør & More

Published April 6, 2024

Grapevine New Music: BSÍ, Kiasmos, Magnús Jóhann, Eivør & More
Photo by
John Pearson/The Reykjavík Grapevine

What was last weekend’s Easter holiday good for? For one, it brought upon a general disdain for chocolate as those eggs were eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Second, it meant that we weren’t hard at work delivering you that sweet, sweet music, leaving a huge pile-up of great tracks waiting to be listened to and scrutinised. The wait is over! Dive into the best new Icelandic music of the last two weeks just as our stomachs dove into a pit of post-chocolate despair. 

Kiasmos — Flown
Released March 26

The dynamic duo of Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds and Faroese musicnan Janus Rasmussen return with their first new music since 2017. Flown is a three track single which plays on similar electropop motifs as their previous work. This time around, Kiasmos etner an otherwordly territory, exhibiting ambient, classical, and rave music. In addition to their release, the group also announced a European tour, starting in Reykjavík’s Gamla Bíó. Be sure to snatch a ticket here:

Eivør — Jarðartrá
Released March 27

Faroese artist Eivør needs little introduction. Spanning a career of two decades, she has divided her time between Reykjavík, Copenhagen and her home country. “Jarðartrá” is Eivør’s first single off her upcoming album ENN, out on June 14 via Season of Mist. “Jarðartrá” is an ethereal piece of music, propelled by the heavy beat envisioned by the artist as Earth’s elemental forces. Eivør will grace her Icelandic fans with a show in Harpa’s Silfurberg on September 15. JB


Sunna Margrét — Finger on Tongue
Released March 28

Sunna Margrét’s debut album shows exactly why she was nominated for the ‘Ones To Watch’ category at the 2024 Grapevine Music Awards. Finger on Tongue embraces the strange sounds within experimental pop, drawing muscal influences from krautrock legends CAN and synth pop artist the Sound Lady. Off-kilter bass lines, distorted drum beats, and hypnotic vocals reign here as Sunna grounds the material on her internal struggles. JB

Kristín Sesselja — Exit Plan
Released March 29

Probably not inspired by the Norwegian financial drama Exit (which I highly recommend, by the way), singer-songwriter and pop musician Kristín Sesselja channels her teenage experiences into the carefully crafted EP. Influenced by the likes of Taylor Swift, Krístín writes superb pop hits based on introspection, heartbreak, obnoxious boys, and empowerment. Exit Plan is filled with huge choruses, charming lyrics, and the catchiest melodies on this side of Esjan. JB

BSÍ — lily (hot dog)
Released April 1

After what seems like an eternity, punk-krútts BSÍ are back again! “lily (hot dog)” presents listeners with the familiar lo-fi bass and drum reciprocity characterising BSÍ’s music. The group’s DIY antics and playful music have caught people’s eyes (or should I say ears) in recent years. In fact, a recent episode of Vikan með Gísla Marteini featured a performance with the group, replicating a scene from this single’s music video which sees the duo fly through space on a cardboard shuttle. Wild stuff. Everyone needs a little BSÍ in their life, so crank that shit up. JB

Bear the Ant — Pyramids
Released April 4

This neo-psychedelic track starts with a laid-back guitar strumming gently, only to surprise you in the second half when it transforms into a hazy, fuzzy, aural kaleidoscope. With a guitar solo able to make Kevin Parker blush, fans of Tame Impala take not. Bear the Ant consists of duo Björn Óli Harðarson and Davíð Antonsson (KALEO). If you like the sound of this, check out their 2022 EP Unconscious. JB

Magnús Jóhann — Concrete Box – Improvisation for Hammond organ, Minimoog & electronics

Released April 5

Close to becoming one of the most prolific musicians of the year, between releasing a solo album last December and his many collaborative roles with various musicians, Magnús Jóhann is a keyboard magician. A 17-minute piece of improvised music originally captured on video by Pálmi Kormákur (son of director Baltasar Kormákur), you really need to check out the video for the full effect. Prepare to be in awe. JB

Frumburður — Ljósin kvikna
Released April 5

Orri Starrason, aka Frumburður, is not wasting time! Having released an EP just in January (including collaborations with Króli and Daniil), the musician has just dropped a new single. “Ljósin kvikna”, which means “the lights turn on” has all the chances to become a new dance floor favourite. Check it out, and if you find yourself singing along to his catchy hooks, don’t say I didn’t warn you. IZ

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