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13 Icelandic Musicians That Deserve Your Undivided Attention

BY EVAN MOLINEUX

Facebook Ásgeir iceland musician

Iceland is a country that is primarily known for its Vikings, mythology, and intense beauty. Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of the nation that is commonly overlooked is the growing music scene.

SEE ALSO: How I Fell in Love with Iceland

When thinking of Icelandic artists, the majority commonly thinks of Björk, Of Monsters and Men, maybe Sigur Ros (if you don’t know Sigur Ros, go listen to them right now because they are amazing and I haven’t included them in this list), and then nothing else really. While in fact, there is a huge music scene coming out of the nation spanning across all genres.

Here is my list of 13 Icelandic Artists you need to go listen to right now:

1. Ásgeir

Basically sounds like if Bon Iver decided to throw a little bit of an electronic twist in his music. It is estimated that at least 10% of all Icelanders bought a copy of his album and I really feel like you should join that 10%.

 Courtesy: YouTube

2. Sin Fang

An experimental indie pop project from the nation’s capital, Reykjavik. Started as a side project for leading man, Sindri Már Sigfússon of Icelandic folk band Seabear, Sin Fang takes a much more experimental approach to its folk music, making for a more interesting listen. ‘Young Boys’ is also one of the catchiest songs I have heard in ages.

 Courtesy: YouTube

3. Jónsi

If you have seen How to Train Your Dragon or We Bought a Zoo, you have heard Jónsi. He did the soundtracks for both of those films, he is the front man of Sigur Ros and his music is pretty much perfect.

 Courtesy: YouTube

4. Ólafur Arnalds

Originally started out as a drummer for a few Icelandic metal bands, his solo work, as a composer is pretty much the exact opposite of heavy metal. Go dim the lights, burn some incense and let his music wash over you.

 Courtesy: YouTube

5. Quarashi

Basically the Icelandic Beastie Boys.

 Courtesy: YouTube

6. Árstíðir

Another Icelandic indie folk band (Iceland really likes folk music). However, these guys have much more traditional sound, singing primarily in their native language and shredding on both cello and violin.

 Courtesy: YouTube

7. Pascal Pinon

If you could capture Iceland into a single sound, it would be found in the music made by these two sisters. Their songs are beautiful, genuine, and make me want to go frolic through the fields of Iceland.

 Courtesy: YouTube

8. Asonat

Their album On the Other Side is soft, beautiful, and definitively Icelandic. Listening to them is like being gently covered in a blanket, while snow falls outside.

 Courtesy: YouTube

9. Teitur Magnússon

I can’t recommend this man’s debut album enough. He totally forgot what decade he was living in and made an amazing record. It’s weird, catchy, beautiful, extremely chill, and I love it.

 Courtesy: YouTube

10. Fufanu

Apparently they were originally planning on being a techno duo, but their computer got stolen resulting in their transformation into a post rock/punk band. God bless you computer thief because I love the way they now sound. Winner of Reykavík Grapevine’s The Band to Watch in 2015.

 Courtesy: YouTube

11. Múm

One of Iceland’s older experimental pop groups. Before listening, prepare to get weird, but also really happy and in a good mood (it’s a great combination of emotions).

 Courtesy: YouTube

12. Vidarsson & David De L Etoile

Who says Icelanders don’t like to dance? These guys make music straight out of a 80s dance party.

 Courtesy: YouTube

13. Starwalker

One half of this group is Icelandic, so it still counts. The other half is Jean-Benoît Dunckel who is part of the incredible French duo Air. Like most of these groups, their music is haunting, ethereal, kind of odd, but ultimately beautiful.

 Courtesy: YouTube

Iceland is a unique country full of mystical and beautiful things. These artists reflect its strange uniqueness, but show how ultimately it is a country filled with the sublime. God bless you Iceland, all your quirks and great musicians.

Evan Molineux contributor profile

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