Arnar (‘Eagle Warrior’) is a common name in Iceland, pretty obviously with Viking connotations, I’d say. I even used to know an Arnar there (or Arnie as I called him), 20 odd years ago. He was a bus driver/tour guide for Reykjavik Excursions and his knowledge of the country was second to none.
So my attention is always drawn in when I see the name and in this case the band is so good they (almost) named it twice.
ArnarÁrna is an Icelandic band, but based in Denmark. They’ve been working on their debut and self-titled EP over the last couple of years, writing music rather than just counting out time. ‘Water and Radio’ is the fourth single from it, and the latest.
The vocalist, Arnar Hrafn(arnason), says the song “is about having fun and being in the moment.” He clearly likes to carpe his diem when he gets the chance and adds that it’s “about how a good night can feel like a good story with a lot of romance.” I’m reminded of car salesman Swiss Toni on the Fast Show on TV in the 1990s, and his perennially repeated advice to his young assistant Paul, that selling a car should be “like making love to a beautiful woman.”
Now here’s a thing. The name of the song came to Arnar because it reminds him of the song ‘Coffee and TV’ by Blur, so it became ‘Water and Radio’. That has to be the most arcane reason I’ve ever heard for a song title. Surely it should have been Tea and Netflix.
And of course Damon Albarn had a fondness for Iceland; he used to own a bar in Reykjavik called Kaffibarinn, if I remember correctly, which he promoted as a Laandon, or Essex-style pub.
So what about the song, I hear you ask? Well if you want cheering up you can’t go wrong here. Arnar is like Ed Sheeran on valium. And he has the physical appearance of a cross somewhere between Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Badly Drawn Boy. Now that’s what I call a winning combination.
‘Water and Radio’ is available now on streaming services here.
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