Olafur Arnalds – Tunglid

Five years ago, had I asked you to tell me a few things you knew from Iceland, I guess you would probably have said Bjork, Sigur Ros, and then either the Sugar Cubes, Eidur Gudjohnsen or perhaps the most expensive beer in Europe. Unfortunately, the cold little island’s reputation has taken something of a hammering since then, with the collapse of Icesave robbing thousands of their savings, retail group Baugur collapse sending high street stores close administration, and then to top if off, ash from Eyjafjallaj√∂kull closing European airspace for days and ruining thousands of holidays in April.

So it might not only be known for it’s quirky musicians and their unique jangly pop anymore, but that doesn’t mean that Iceland isn’t still turning out the tunes. As well as the prolific work of Sigur Ros main man Jonsi, this week saw an announcement about a proposed collaboration between Bjork and New York’s Dirty Projectors… But away from the big names, for an island with a population less to Norwich, there is a flourishing scene of new young artists producing unique, original music, almost out of the sight of the international music scene.

Compilation series Made In Iceland is doing something about that, grouping together a pretty diverse range of artists united by their nationality. That’s where I heard Olafur Arnolds’ music for the first time; along with the afore-mentioned Jonsi and 18 of his other countrymen, he features on the 3rd installation of the series.

I knew I wanted to use something from the compilation on shotwithsound, but unfortunately, to date my adwords revenue won’t quite stretch to a ticket to Reykjavik to take some photos to accompany it, so I’ve improvised a little to use the above. It was actually shot using an infrared filter, hence the dark sky and black lake, which I think gives the photo a mysterious, ethereal nature that fits the song nicely.

You can find more info about the compilation and sample more of the songs on the Iceland Music Export site here

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