From Iceland — Grapevine New Music: Mugison, MSEA, Kári Egilsson & More

Grapevine New Music: Mugison, MSEA, Kári Egilsson & More

Published September 15, 2023

Photo by
Art Bicnick

We’re hitting the middle of the month with real mixed reviews: the whale-killing millionaire continues his rampage as protest mounts, queer and transphobic misinformation has been ripping through Icelandic social media, and inflation keeps on a-risin’. But did you see those auroras last night? Gosh, they were fantastic! This week’s new music picks are the real high note with a veritable grab-bag for everyone to enjoy — dance music, indie rock, boogie blues, art pop and jazzy jazz. Our new music podcast 66 Degrees of Sound will blow its horn again in two weeks time, so go catch up on the old episodes before we get back into it!

Hreyfing – Hreyfing Presents: Greatest Hits
Released September 8
Who needs AI when you can lock two music aficionados together in a room for a whole summer? Regurgitating dance music from the 80s through to the 00s, Hreyfing presents the quintessential sounds and movements of popular dance music. The duo behind Hreyfing are Samehead’s member Baldur Skúlason and Inspector Spacetime’s Elías Geir Óskarsson, who wrote and recorded the album during a Skapandi Sumarstörf residency. Check out the first track, “In Line”, which sounds exactly like a Talking Heads B-side – even featuring David Byrne’s verbalisms. JB

Spacestation – Hver í fokkanum?
Released September 9
“Who the fuck are you?” translates the opening line of Spacestation’s newest single. An apt question that the band should be asked, as Spacestation burst into Reykjavík’s music scene earlier in the year with unrelenting indie fervour, amassing mass popularity sooner than you could say, “Anyway, here’s ‘Wonderwall.’” Spacestation strike me as the kind of group that operates on pure passion – and wearing sunglasses inside. JB

Mugison – É Dúdda Mía
Released September 11
Iceland’s own mountain troubadour Mugison has been on a roll. Ever since conquering the hearts of this nation with his seminal 2011 album Haglél, Mugison has maintained his reputation as a man of the people. Even though he’s able to sell out Harpa in the blink of an eye, that doesn’t stop him from performing in local pubs. Mugison’s latest release is a boogie-woogie blues track that is sure to get everyone in a good mood. JB

MSEA – Our Daily Apocalypse Walk
Released September 15
Inspired by the artist’s dream journaling during the pandemic, Maria-Carmela Raso – artist moniker MSEA – releases her newest LP today. Sweeping synths and off-kilter melodies draw you into MSEA’s dream world. Evoking otherwordly images through sound and spectacular cover art, Our Daily Apocalypse Walk is MSEA’s most ambitious work yet. Featuring a host of wonderful musicians lending their talents to the piece, MSEA pulls off a spectacular feat. JB

Kári Egilsson Band – Óróapúls
Released September 15
What’s not to love about Kári Egilsson? He’s funny, charming and a mean pianist. Releasing his debut earlier this year, the acclaimed jazzy adult contemporary Palm Trees In The Snow, Kári brings us a slightly different beast today. More in the direction of contemporary jazz, Kári showcases his virtuosic piano skills, backed by an exceptional band supporting band. You like jazz? Then check out Óróapúls. JB

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