Tag Archives: icelandic

Worm Is Green – To Them We Are Only Shadows

And speaking of Icelandic artists – there is also another magnificent new album recorded by the musicians from that island but the band behind it has spent incomparably more years on the scene than our latest hero M-Band. The release is called To Them We Are Only Shadows and it is the fourth album in the discography of Worm Is Green, a group of musicians from Akranes, a small port town on the west coast of Iceland, who have been making music together since the beginning of the century. The LP is full of lovely and peaceful sound that is enriched with the delicate voice of Guðriður Ringsted and the outcome of this mix could be easily compared to the best releases of the British trip hop.

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M-Band – Haust

I first heard about M-Band, a project of Icelandic artist Hörður Bjarnason, from my Reykjavík-based fellow during a night ride with S-Bahn in Berlin, somewhere between Charlottenburg and Ostbahnhof. The circumstances proved to be really accurate as the musician currently lives in capital of Germany. Anyway, I promised myself that I will check out his music as soon as I can and when I finally did, I found out that the debut album was supposed to appear in a near future. Fortunately, I did not have to wait too long – Haust has been published yesterday!

The album begins with the weird sound-snippets of Launch but just when I start to wonder whether M-Band presents the same side of Berlin as Holly Herndon, the majestic piano note strikes in the style of Halls and then you simply know that there will be something more in his sound – melody, beauty, melancholy and emotions. There is also one both important and magnificent element that is added to this mix and it is introduced when you are well into the hypnotizing Ever Ending Never. Yes, that is the vocal. And Hörður’s voice varies throughout the album; he may sound a bit like Thom Yorke only to turn into Antony Hegarty in the next track.

One of the things that M-Band does wonderfully on Haust is connecting atmospheric vocals with the surprisingly intensive beats. Because you would not expect the song like Jon Hopkins’ Open Eye Signal to be accompanied by high voice but this is exactly what happens in Ever Ending Never and the effect is amazing. Let’s consider another example – in Fractions elongated vocal parts of high voice are backed by very fast melody and it works extremely well. But there are also other highlights of the album – over ten-minutes-long experiment called Psalms Of The Mushroom War or the ecstatic organ part in the title track.

Two morals can be derived from this text. One – Haust by M-Band is a great release. And two – one should always pay attention to what the Icelandic guys are saying. They have amazing taste in music, I can tell you that.

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Yöri – Indigo

We were writing about Yöri‘s debut EP Capsule few months ago with a belief that her origin is purely Icelandic but it turns out that she is also of Lithuanian descent. For me, this fact adds to her music some FeverRay-ish mystery due to the beauty and atmosphere of wonderful Lithuanian forests which cover one third of the country. And if we mix the mood of Karin Dreijer’s songs with the earlier comparisons to Björk, we should get nothing less than a masterpiece. Indigo, a brand new single from Yöri, definitely belongs to this category with the artist’s swanlike vocal being amazingly supported by a relaxing trip hop beat which creates a perfect dreamy song.

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Yöri – Capsule EP

When Icelandic female vocalists try to mix their unusual voices with electronic music, the comparisons to legendary Björk are really hard to omit. However, if any of this should make sense, there needs to be a properly good music behind it.

And this is exactly what happens in the case of Yöri, new sensation originally coming from Iceland but now based in LA. Her debut EP called Capsule has been just released and it is an excellent collection of really lovely tracks.

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Retro Stefson – Retro Stefson

Retro Stefson is an Icelandic group that offers enjoyable music for everyone. Perfect mix of light electronic music and pop, results in diverse tracks which can lift your mood in few seconds. So if you need that, get the self-titled album they have released just last month. Satisfaction guaranteed!

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