Keeping a finger on the pulse

East End Grrrls

in Explore/Issue #1/REVIEWS by

Words by Wim Van Hooste
The review was originally printed in Reykjavík On Stage (Issue 4)

One thing is clear about East Of My Youth: they have an impeccable literary taste. Their name comes from Jack Kerouac’s novel On The Road: I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future. The lyrics of ‘Lemonstars’ (a song unfortunately not featured on this début EP), were also inspired by a novel, Worldlight, by Halldór Laxness, Iceland’s Nobel Prize author.

East of My Youth is a ladies’ duo consisting of lifelong friends Thelma Marín Jónsdóttir and Herdís Stefánsdóttir. Finding themselves in Berlin after both finishing the Icelandic Academy of Arts (IAA), the grrrls decided to make music together, for our great pleasure.

Their eponymous EP features six electropop songs, mostly built on luscious lyrics driven by Thelma’s angelic vocals.

The opening track, ‘Words’, immediately sets a reference for the rest: breathing in and out, without a moment to catch a breather, CPR not included.

The vocals on song number 2, ‘Sirens’, are not only enchanting and energetic; they also have some dangerous, dark undertones that would certainly send any sailor within range to wreck their ship on the rocky coastline of Ultima Thulé.

Many bands write songs in honour of their mothers, and ‘Mother’ is the title of the next track. EOMY was inspired by listening to Chinese music for this one: China in your hand for mama.

The remastered version of ‘Only Lover’ is next: clap your hands say yeah! The 5th song is ‘Stronger’: a dreamy, lonely tune. My favorite is the final one, ‘You Are the One (Adanowsky)’, that has the multiple-mediatalented singer Salka Sól (of AmabAdamA fame) as sunny side up surprise and a Swedish pop sound.

This duet debut is a tasty and sticky six-piece cake, with whipped cream and forbidden fruit on top. Let us hope that their full album contains even more pearls, ‘cause diamonds and pearls are the grrrl’s best friend.

East of My Youth – East of My Youth
1 Words
2 Sirens
3 Mother
4 Only Lover
5 Stronger
6 You Are the One (Adanowsky) with Salka Sól

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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