Tag Archives: pop

Catch Sóley live this summer

Artist: Sóley | Song: Halloween

Sóley (Sóley Stefánsdóttir) is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, pianist and member of the indie-collective Seabear. She also studied composition and is a passionate piano player and singer. In  2010 she released her debut EP Theater Island which was followed by her first full-length album We Sink. 

Sóley is playing two festivals this summer– Rauðasandur Festival and ATP Iceland. This song is called Halloween from her upcoming album and this was the very first time she performed it live. It was recorded for KEXP at Iceland Airwaves last year.

Bombastic new single from Biggi Hilmars

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.

Rising Icelandic star with new sing-along song

Artist: Jón Jónsson | Single: Ljúft Að Vera Til

Verslunarmannahelgi (Shopkeeper’s holiday) in August is the one of the biggest travel weekends of the year. Many Icelanders take advantage of the extra free day given on Monday and visit their cabin in the country-side, spend the days with their family or visit a festival. Vestmannaeyjar (The Westman Islands) are famed in Iceland for their major annual festival, Þjóðhátíð (National Festival), which attracts thousands of people. The festival was originally held in 1874 when the inhabitants were unable, due to bad weather, to attend the celebration of Iceland’s first constitution. Instead, they held their own party, which has been reprised every year since and has become the country’s biggest outdoor festival.

Locals and guests gather in Herjólfsdalur valley on the island of Heimaey, for four days of various events, most prominently big stage concerts, bonfires, fireworks shows and the festival’s signature Sunday night crowd singing. The crowd singing is the single event of the weekend which draws the most attendees. Approximately 15,000-20,000 people attend the festival every year.

Every year a special Þjóðhátíð song is made for the festival. This year, the honour went to Jón Jónsson. The song is called Ljúft Að Vera Til, which translates to Delightful to exist. In an interview with Pressan, he says, “The aim was to make a song that people could easily learn and sing. Something that was light and summery and easy to sing along to and play on the guitar. A song people easily can pick up and sing in their tents out there on the islands.”

Jón Jónsson is signed to Epic Records, owned by Sony Music Entertainment. He was discovered by Bryant Reid, responsible for finding the Grammy award winning artist Usher amongst others. His music is a mixture of pop, bluesy background, and soulful acoustic guitar. Jónsson´s first four singles were in the top 30 on Iceland music charts and his songs are heard in regular rotation on radio. Most of them have reached top 10 on radio as well as the Icelandic Billboard. Guess what? We predict that this one also is going to join the ranks of successful Jón Jónsson singles!

New Song from Eurovision footballer and her sister

1901426_667347809991850_441339621_n

Artist: SamSam | Song: Eiffel Tower

Gréta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir is a 26-year old singer and former striker for Iceland’s national women’s football team. Greta Mjöll participated in Söngvakeppnin, the Icelandic qualifiers for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, performing the song Eftir eitt lag.  She managed to proceed from the semi-finals to the finals.

She has been singing since an early age and last year founded the duo SamSam, along with her sister Hófí. Their first performance was in a singing competition in Iceland between all the high schools in the country. Broadcasted live in the whole nation they sang Hofi´s song O Maria. The SamSam sisters have made music since they remember, and now write and sing their own music in both English and Icelandic. Upbeat acoustic pop songs with the sisters’ voices blending perfectly in the catchy choruses.

They have only released three songs so far in their career, but today they released another one called Eiffel Tower. “It’s about not always fitting in the box and wanting just a sense of adventure!” says Greta Mjöll on her Facebook page.

Their song House created some stir in the Icelandic charts last year.

But we also really like the positive vibes on this one: Awesome.


RELATED: Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Joshua Radin, Ingrid Michaelsson

Video premiere: Dark Water by Agent Fresco

Artist: Agent Fresco | Single: Dark Water

After their EP Lightbulb Universe (2008), the concept album A Long Time Listening (2010) and a tour abroad it’s soon time for Agent Fresco’s third album. The yet untitled new record is set to be released at the end of the summer. The pre-release single Dark Water came out a week ago and today it was premiere of the crisp video by Marino Thorlacius.

Dark Water is a song we dare to call epic, in the word’s true sense. A powerful and bombastic rock anthem combined with a wonderfully intricate arrangement and melody. We specifically enjoy that short piano break before the last crescendo of the song; a polyrhythmic little masterpiece of it’s own. On top of that, singer Arnór Dan Arnarson stretches his world-class voice with amazing intensity – bordering to an operatic performance. We’re pretty sure that this will count as a classic Agent Fresco song in the future.

“A rich and afflicted take on freaky folk pop”

Artist: Júníus Meyvant | Single: Color Decay

Unnar Gisli Sigurmundsson, with the colorful stage name Júníus Meyvant, is a songwriter from Vestmanneyjar (the Westman Islands, south of Iceland). And he’s not only a musician, but also a talented artist. He used to play in the aggressive rock band Jack London, but has now embarked on a solo career.

He describes his music as “…a rich and afflicted take on freaky folk pop with a familiar and soulful feel. The feeling you get from listening to Júníus is equally as comfortable as resting under a thick wool blanket with a hot cup of cocoa…”

Sounds a little…exaggerated…pretentious? Well, listen and judge for yourself. We think it’s a hell of a pop song anyway, that shows a lot of promise. So please let us hear more from Júníus Meyvant. If not only to get an excuse to pronounce his beautiful name over and over again. Júníus. Meyvant. Try it, you´ll like it.