From Iceland — Track By Track: Rammar By KUSK

Track By Track: Rammar By KUSK

Published June 25, 2024

Track By Track: Rammar By KUSK
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Supplied by KUSK

KUSK’s RAMMAR captures feelings of freedom and adolescence

Released on May 24, RAMMAR is artist KUSK’s sophomore album. Rising through the ranks as the 2022 Músíktilraunir winner, KUSK’s latest output layers filters of hazy summers and feelings of adolescent freedom within the frame of bedroom-pop.


“Heim” is the first track of the album and its core inspiration. I was finding it difficult to write new songs until I listened to Djo’s album DECIDE. As soon as I heard the first track, I realised how much I wanted to write again and wrote a love letter to that song.


“1000” was born out of “Heim.” I made a demo but immediately hit a wall. So I went to Hrannar Máni (known artistically as Óviti), and he helped me. During the session, I fell asleep on the couch while Hrannar worked. When I woke up, he’d written a whole song. The track almost wrote itself afterwards.

Síðan síðast

“Síðan síðast” was a challenge I made myself. I wanted to write a song where I’d play every instrument. I started the process with a beat. Then I allowed the song to lay itself out as it pleased.

Loka Augunum, feat. Óviti

This is one of the album’s oldest songs, developed from an idea I presented to Hrannar. I think a lot of my music wouldn’t be like it is today if not for Hrannar. What’s so fun working with him is that there’s no plan — the music just gets made. The songs inch forward and we spitball lyrics until we’re satisfied with the outcome, which is exactly what happened here.

During the session, I fell asleep on the couch.


“Sommar” is entirely written as a love letter to the Swedish summer. I was raised in Sweden most of my life and had a very Swedish childhood. I travelled back after some time away during the summer of 2023 and found I’d forgotten that Swedish summer feeling. I felt like I was experiencing summer for the first time. I decided to capture it with words and a bossa-nova arrangement.

Hold me

“Hold Me” was created from a choir recording I found that I thought was very beautiful. I wanted to write a song specifically for this particular recording, which is played at the end.

Grófar útlínur

“Grófar útlínur” is inspired by Amber Mark’s “What it is.” I was enamoured by its drum beat, which inspired this song. Later, singer Birgitta Ólafsdóttir got involved, creating this groovy track. It’s about painting the world around you as you want it. It’s also the longest track on the album and has a long outro — like the song is travelling into the distance.

Fer í hnút

This track has a fun story. I wrote it three times in three different languages; English, Swedish, and Icelandic. It was nice to watch how the lyrics and the meaning of the song changed between languages.

Leiðir liggja saman

“Leiðir liggja saman” is what I call the album’s transformation song as it cuts into two parts in the middle. This song is still under some development and I’m looking forward to seeing its possibilities during live shows,


Originally written as a reprise to “1000,” “Allt” is the song I care most about on the album. Hrannar and I had a piano version but the song went in another direction when I decided to feature my little sister, Hildur Óskarsóttir. The song revolves around this connection between sisters, which follows you throughout life — wanting to tell your sister everything.

Haltu í mig

The last track and the oldest one. I felt like I needed an end that would tie everything together. I started looking at old demos and found a track called “Ást.” I kept the lyrics and melody but decided to rework the backing track. My music has developed a lot since that demo.

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