Over the course of three days, we will be rolling out a three-part, comprehensive mixtape covering many bases of the Icelandic music scene, to supplement our feature about The Real Icelandic Music Scene. The feature digs beneath Iceland’s obvious musical exports like Sigur Rós, Múm, and Björk, and finds out what everyday life is like for the average Icelandic musician.
This mixtape – the second in a series of three – focuses on indie and instrumental music.
We contacted a number of Icelandic record labels and independent musicians to exclusive permission to host MP3s just for this mixtape. You will not find the majority of these MP3s available for free anywhere else on the internet… so enjoy!
Curated by Vivian Hua, Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE
Of Monsters And Men – “Little Talks” (Record Records)
This six-piece indie folk band hails from Reykjavik and sing in English, and their musical fullness is apparent with “Little Talks,” through the use of diverse instrumentation and playful vocals.
The Way Down – “Fatal”
With “Fatal,” this four-member indie rock band pays proper attention to jangling guitarwork and cascading cadences… in multiple languages.
Peter And Wolf – “Samba Suicide” (Ching Ching Bling Bling)
“Samba Suicide” lives up to its track title, with subdued grooves, depressing lyrics talking about “killing yourself in the morning light,” and samba-influenced percussive backdrop.
California Cheeseburger – “Paralysed” (Ching Ching Bling Bling)
“Paralysed” is a small pleasantry which recalls ‘50s prom music, and lives in the same world as bands like Tennis.
Rökkurró – Augun Opnast (12 Tónar)
Rökkurró’s music is a perfect blend of pop music and melancholy, with difficult-to-pinpoint vocals fluttering like butterflies atop it.
Worm Is Green – “The Darkness” (ata:digital)
Haunting storytelling combines with trip-hop beats in this offering by this electronic band that boasts diverse songwriting chops.
Seabear – “Lion Face Boy” (Morr Music)
Seabear is one of the better-known Icelandic indie rock bands, and “Lion Face Boy” is the single off of the band’s latest album, We Built A Fire.
Pascal Pinon – “New Beginning” (Morr Music)
Pascal Pinon is comprised of twin sisters Jófríður and Ásthildur, who began creating pop music together at the age of 14. “New Beginning” is the gentlest of bedroom pop jams.
Feldberg – “I’m Not Thinking Of You” (Cod Music)
A project between Eberg (Einar Tönsberg) and Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld, “I’m Not Thinking Of You” is just stunning in its lyrical and musical simplicity.
Amiina – “Over And Again”
A six-person band based out of Reykjavik, Amiina is rich in stringed instruments; as just a post-rock band, Amiina would be remarkable. Add ethereal vocals, and it becomes obvious why the band has received international attention.
Sketches For Albinos – “Daniel Likes Birds”
“Daniel Likes Birds” is glitched-out, electronic-influenced post-rock from UK-to-Iceland transplant Matthew Collings.
Miri – “Góða Konan”
Miri is one of few Icelandic bands on this mixtape with members that reside outside of Reykjavik. “Góða Konan” (“Good Woman”) is equal parts experimentation and traditional post-rock.
For A Minor Reflection – “Átta”
This instrumental quartet shows its rough-and-tumble side with the progressively more hypnotic “Átta” (“Eight”).
Daníel Bjarnason – “Bow To String I. – Sorrow Conquers Happiness” (Bedroom Community)
This track by experimental classical composer Daníel Bjarnason is one of the last tracks on this mixtape for a reason; it is intense and unsettling, but in the most satisfying of ways.
BONUS TRACK: Skakkamanage – “Summer All Over” (Skakkapop / Smekkleysa)
If you need it after the last track, use this trio’s “Summer All Over” as a relaxing respite.