From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Gugusar, Önnu Jónu Son, Cell7 & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Gugusar, Önnu Jónu Son, Cell7 & More

Published July 18, 2023

Photo by
Art Bicnick

What a fine week! After all, we’ve seen an eruption happening on the Reykjanes peninsula – the third one in as many years. The eruption site was closed due to the dangerous conditions that presented in its aftermath, but hopefully, we’ll see that ban lifted in the near future. While we wait, go check out this awesome list of amazing tracks that just got released. It’ll certainly make the wait feel shorter. While you’re at it, why not listen to the newest episode of 66 Degrees of Sound?

Hasar – Báða daga allar helgar
Released July 14

Former Hórmónar member Örn Gauti delights us with a brand new song from his brand new solo project, Hasar. In a similar vein to his previous work in Hórmónar, Hasar (Action), Örn Gauti doesn’t shy away from the same levels of intensity and punk influences that characterised his old band. “Báða Daga Allar Helgar” (Both Days, Every Weekend) is an ode to the Reykjavík party scene. While the narrator implies drowning his sorrows, the distorted guitars and banging drums make it sound like one helluva party. The accompanying music video is something else. JB

Gugusar – Vonin
Released July 14

It’s unfair to say that Gugusar shows promise with every new song she’s released – ever since releasing her debut album Listen To This Twice in 2020, Gugusar has consistently demonstrated her brilliance, whether in songwriting, production, or performance. Here, Gugusar opens up about a problematic relationship in her stark lyrics. After her solemn delivery backed up by nothing but a piano – about two-thirds in – an explosive dance beat carries the song into another dimension, into Gugusar’s world. JB

Önnu Jónu Son – Big Boy Boots
Released July 14

Ramper, philanthropist, tech guru, restauranteur. Now, musician. Haraldur Þorleifsson’s moniker Önnu Jónu Son pays homage to his mother, much like his newly opened restaurant Anna Jóna. Here, Önnu Jónu Son does not stray away from the tenderness of his previous track, “Almost Over You”. Halli’s voice accompanied by the soft piano and sweet synths is a splendid assortment to begin your day with over a cup of coffee. Just be careful, this one is a tearjerker.

Cell7 feat. Moses Hightower – Thinking Hard
Released July 14

What happens when two of the smoothest artists in Iceland join together on a track? Well, listen and find out for yourself. The result is an unbelievably cool combination of old-school hip-hop and jazz-funk fusion. Cell7’s flow in tune to Moses’ trippy keyboard work makes for an unlikely, yet perfect blend. Both artists deserve tremendous respect for this stellar track. JB

Sin Fang, Kjartan Holm, Fischersund – Leitandi augu 
Released July 7

Here, artists Sin Fang and Kjartan Holm team up with Fischersund to produce a track, and eventually an album, based entirely on the sounds and atmospheres inspired by the Icelandic ‘djammið’ during high summer – a night out basically. It gives off a 90’s UK club vibe, which makes me want to don a bucket hat and start saying: “Y’alright?”. But Sindri and Kjartan can probably tell you more about it than me, as they were this week’s guests of 66 Degrees of Sound. JB

Xiupill – Pure Rockets
Released July 14

On the topic of 90’s UK beats, gabber and hip-hop group Xiupill release their debut album Pure Rockets today. A 13-track record, it includes tracks “New Religion” and “Justice” which we’ve featured before. Full of banging beats and intense rapping, Xiupill deliver a fantastic piece of work. Xiupill are currently on tour in Europe, alongside artists Final Boss Type Zero, Flarryr, Pellegrina, and Sideproject, performing in Oslo, Berlin, Warsaw, Poznan, and Lódz. JB

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