Keeping a finger on the pulse

JFDR – Brazil

in Explore/Issue #1 by

Words by Bartek Wilk

I don’t know any other Icelandic artist who has been involved in so many different projects in the span of a year. Let’s see – first of all there was a new Samaris album. Although musically different from their previous releases and overtaken by Doddi, Black Lights couldn’t have been done without her lyrics and her very special voice (a voice that won her the 2016 Icelandic Music Award for best electronic album and best female singer). The trio is still one of the most important electronic bands of the younger generation of Icelandic music. There was also Sundur – a new Pascal Pinon album Jófríður recorded with her sister Ásthildur. This one was really digging to the roots of the Ákadóttir sisters’ music. So simple and honest in the folk-influenced singer-songwriter form, but deep and grown-up on the lyrical side. It’s fantastic that despite being apart they still have their own common space and play such intimate music. But it’s only the beginning. There’s far more to come. A great project called Gangly, founded with Sindri from Sin Fang and Úlfur from Oyama. Unique mix of different genres like trip-hop, electronica and pop. Jófríður also actively supports other artists and their projects. Last year she recorded a beautiful song called Way Low with Kreld (Kristján Eldjárn from SYKUR) and she also sang on Bones, a new track released by Low Roar at the beginning of 2017. Besides making all these records she played so many concerts all over the world that it’s almost unbelievable she found a time to compose and record her solo album. But, I think in this case it might not be the best way to put it. As Jófríður said she never intended to make this album. It just happened unexpectedly, sparked by her mentor Shahzad Ismaily (who previously worked with Lou Reed, Tom Waits or Yoko Ono). I wish every artist could record such unexpected album at least once in their lifetime.

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Stína has followed her passion to Icelandic music as a music journalist since 2010. She joined then a writing team of Muzyka Islandzka - a Polish website dedicated to Icelandic music. Spreading her wings, Stína started her adventure with Icelandic language and moved to Reykjavík where she studied the language at the university. She also takes an active part in life of the local music scene. Since 2014 Stína had run a music blog that was transformed in 2017 into a printed magazine on Icelandic music.

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