From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Þórir Georg, Elín Hall & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Þórir Georg, Elín Hall & More

Published April 14, 2023

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Happy Friday, friends! Not only do we once again have some hot new tracks to share with you, we also put out a brand new issue today! Our new issue is a full-on takeover by the youth art-action-anarchy group Krakkaveldi, and it’s so inspiring and affirming. We weren’t able to get our guest-writer kids to do this list, but these tracks are certainly bringing out our youthful energy. From nineties and noughties influences, melancholic nostalgia melodies, earnest emotional dramatic pop, and songs that give us hope for new beginnings, these tracks are full of the idealistic beauty that comes with embracing the inner child. You can also listen to some of them, and what we had to say about them, on our new podcast Icelandic Music This Week (available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.) Have a great, playful weekend!

Nanna – Disaster Master

Released April 5

In Nanna’s latest release, the artist embraces the chaos most of us experience by, well, being human. It’s the third single off her debut solo album, How To Start A Garden, coming out May 5. “Disaster Master” ties Nanna’s casual guitar strumming with a larger soundscape, incorporated by a plethora of instruments. Recorded in the Dreamland studio in upstate New York and produced by Josh Kauffman, “Disaster Master” manages to link the previous two singles to form one cohesive pattern of what can be expected from her upcoming album. Be on the lookout for our next issue — also coming May 5 — for an in-depth coverage of Nanna’s album. JB

Snorri Hallgrímsson – I am Weary; Don’t Let Me Rest

Released April 6

Snorri Hallgrímsson. Film composer, musician, maker of beautiful things. With the title of his latest track, “I am Weary; Don’t Let Me Rest”, Snorri references his strange state of mind that engulfs him while writing. The track is borne out of Snorri’s quest to write the best and most original track in the world – no pressure there. The simple piano refrain anchors the track, with brass and strings elevating the track. If you can’t get enough of this song, Snorri was so kind to make a longer version of the song – running at almost six and a half minutes. “I am Weary; Don’t Let Me Rest” is the title track to Snorri’s upcoming album, coming out June 16. JB

Diamond Dolls – Her Face

Released April 7

Ever had that thing happen to you where you have an intense fleeting moment with a complete stranger that deeply marks you, and they look like the person of your dreams, but then you never see them again? Even worse: you completely forget what their face looks like. Emerging rockers Diamond Dolls sure know that feeling! Their track “Her Face” is the first single off their upcoming album Solace (release date TBA) and it blends 90s and noughties indie rock in a super fun way. They’re playing on April 29 at Gaukurinn, so if this hits your sweet spot, you can rock out with them then. RX

Þórir Georg – Nokkur Góð

Released April 14

If you still haven’t clocked Þórir Georg’s seemingly endless and boundless musical catalogue, well… he wouldn’t blame you. He admits, shamelessly, that he is far from the best at self-promotion. But he’s been out here making music for over 20 years and covering so much ground — hardcore, post-punk, synthpunk, black metal, acoustic singer-songwriter stuff, and just whatever the hell he feels like. His new compilation album Nokkur goð (“a few good ones”) pulls together a bunch of the great tracks from his many lesser known releases. This writer’s favourite on the album is also my personal all-time favourite of his songs, “Ekki Neitt,” off his 2015 post-punk stunner janúar. Þórir devotees and newbies will love this one. RX

Sara Flindt – Organize (IANTBW version)

Released April 14

Don’t let the title fool you: this is not a rousing anthem for grassroots labour-rights activists to stop in-fighting and get some shit done. It’s a deeply vulnerable, personal ode to getting one’s internal turmoil in order to self-regulate and get shit done. Previously known under the moniker ZAAR, this is Iceland-based Danish art-pop musician Sara Flindt’s first release under her given name. The track perfectly combines the kind of experimental, avant-garde electronic pop she’s known, with an emotional journey that starts off slow and stunted and builds into something almost overwhelming. Then it just stops. Perfect music for living room improv dancing. RX

Elín Hall featuring GDRN – júpíter

Released April 14

“júpíter” represents the new beginning for Elín Hall, she admits. It closes some old doors to open the new ones. The track is the first single from Elín’s upcoming album and it’s a powerful start. The collaboration with GDRN also features Magnús Jóhann, as well as Reynir Snær, ​​Bergur Einar playing instruments. Although planetary cycles might not be important for everyone, let’s admit that summer (coming next week!) is a good time to embrace new beginnings. IZ

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