Artist: Kontinuum | Single: Í Huldusal
Metalhammer has described them as “An astonishing cocktail of punk energy, post-rock weight and ambience, melancholic metal despondency and the occasional flash of Emperor’s ferocity”.
We don’t actually understand exactly what that means, but it sounds cool. All we know is that Kontinuum have a fresh single out now on their YouTube channel called Í Huldusal. And it’s a great example of classic quality rock in a retro style. Heavy, melodic and sung in Icelandic. Quit simply a power ballad that grows with every listening.
The single is from the band’s upcoming new album, whose title and release date are still unknown. Kontinuum’s previous album, Earth Blood Magic, was released in 2012 and was widely praised by critics.
Artist: Erlend Øye (and Hjálmar) | Single: Garota
The Norwegian singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Erlend Øye presents the music video for his new single Garota. Erlend Øye is best-know for being a member of both indie folk-pop duo Kings Of Convenience and Berlin-based dance-pop project Whitest Boy Alive. But since the latter has broken up and no Kings of Convinience release is planned, Øye has been working on his solo album Legao instead. We’ve already posted the first single Fence Me In, now it’s time for single number two; Garota.
For Legao Øye has rounded up members of the legendary Icelandic reggae band Hjálmar. On Fence Me In the reggae influences were obvious with offbeat guitar and organ-shuffle. On Garota the reggae sound is more toned down, but still colored with horns and hammond in a distinctive Hjálmaresque way.
The album was recorded in Reykjavik, but the video was filmed in South Korea by director Michael Beech. The beautifully shot film documents a stadium-size show in Seoul with Erlend Øye backed up by Hjálmar, but also tells a fictional romantic story about Øye and a Korean garota, which means girl in portugese.
The album will be released October the 3rd via Bubble Records.
Artist: Valdimar | Single: Good Enough for Now
Valdimar is a true gem of a band. They have released two albums, both very successful on Iceland. Besides producing elegant, melodic, spacey and dramatic music, the band’s prime asset is singer Valdimar Guðmundsson’s gentle, sincere and soulful voice. Valdimar’s music is simply soothing to listen to. And if you haven’t listened to their music – don’t miss to check them out. Every track is worth your time. Promise.
This morning Validimar released a new single on Icelandic radio called Læt það duga. They also made an English version named Good Enough for Now. Click and listen below. Nice, isn’t it? That’s more than good enough boys!
Artist: Amaba Dama | Single: Hossa Hossa
Icelandic reggae? As matter of fact the Icelandic reggae scene has been thriving the last ten years. And it’s not as strange as it first may seem. Keep in mind that with 6-10 months of snow, rain, cold winds and gray skies, it is pretty logical that the warm Jamaican rhythms might appeal to the Icelanders.
This summer Amaba Dama has won the ears and hearts of the Icelandic nation with their dance friendly hit Hossa Hossa. The band sings in Icelandic, with their musical influences steadily rooted in the traditional reggae style. Singers Gnúsi Yones, Steinunn and Salka Sól make up the core of the band. Supported by a group of groovy musicians the band has built a reputation of delivering a great live set to clubs and festivals all over the island. Amaba Dama aim to release their debut album this autumn.
The video for Hossa Hossa just came out, even though the single has been topping the Icelandic charts the last five weeks. The reason for the delay of the video was that the band only filmed when it was sunshine. There’s true Icelandic weather for you!
Artist: Tilbury | Song: Cool Confrontation
One of last years best Icelandic albums came from Tilbury. Originally founded by Þormóður Dagsson as a solo project in 2010, Tilbury is now a band with members hailing from groups such as Hjaltalín, Valdimar, Sin Fang and Amiina. The album, Northern Comfort, is a beautiful piece of mellow and melancholy synth pop produced by Aron Þ. Arnarsson who has worked with artists like Björk, John Grant, Of Monsters and Men, Gus Gus and The Brian Jonestown Massacre just to name a few.
Now designer Sölvi Dúnn Snæbjörnsson has done a video for the song Cool Confrontation, taken from the album, where an strange animated version of the band performs.
Artist: Biggi Hilmars | Single: Spegilmynd
Songwriter, singer and musician Biggi Hilmars blends many genres – classical, ambient and some electronic – to create his own personal soundscape. His compositions has been featured in film trailers, commercials, plays and television series.
Spegilmynd (Mirror) is Biggi Hilmars new single and the first in his native language. It was written together with his girlfriend María Kjartans, who also did the cover artwork. Recorded in five different studios between Reykjavik, Los Angeles and London, it’s been the longest song in progress that he has ever created. The sound is big with a full orchestra playing intense and bombastic.
Icelandic film maker Bara Brandsdottir has made a short documentary on a few Icelandic artists including Biggi Hilmars; which gives an insight into his everyday life, his music creations, background and inspirations.
Artist: Sometime | Single: I Will Run
The band Sometime just released the single I Will Run. These two Icelandic music veterans – singer Diva de la Rosa (Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld) and band founder theDanni (Daniel Thorsteinsson) – make emotionally charged pop music together. Their first album Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was released in 2009. Three years later came Acid Make-Out: Music from the Motion Picture, a soundtrack to a short film of the same name. Now they are working on their third album. Sometime will also play live at the Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavik and Extreme Chill Festival in Berlin this summer.
The clip above features I Will Run in a promotional film for the Icelandic fashion designer K O L B R U N.