I do believe Heidrunna (Heidrun Anna Bjornsdottir) is the first artist we have featured three times – and more if you count playlists and other mentions – but she’s a high quality artist and a little different from the majority of Icelandic performers in my view, being capable of serving up both the mainstream and the eclectic.
In the past I’ve even gone so far as to mention her in the same breath as Kraftwerk but on the previous single the marker was more in the way of bibbity bobbity Kylie, backed by The Human League.
On this latest, synth dominated, single she sticks to a firm and well worn pop path. The opening bars could be ABBA, while as the song progresses her Vanessa Paradis persona appears – she is an influence by all accounts – and the melody is simple, repetitive and as catchy as you like.
Lyrically, the song title suggests it could be a gangsta rap rendition by Compton’s Most Wanted (yes there is band called that) recounting their latest standoff with The Watts Killaz (I made that one up) but it’s much gentler in tone than that of course. She wrote it while in Sweden on a writing trip (there’s no inspiration in Iceland??) and it’s about commitment and phobia.
She says, “Like a lot of my songs it’s about…the pull and tug of relationships – does he love me or not! The Groundhog Day and the emotions and tiredness of stopping and starting and deciding that maybe the only way to stop it is to erase everything about that person and never pick up the phone again.”
Speaking of Groundhog Day I’d like to see an Icelandic Punxsutawney Phil edging out of his hole in early February. He wouldn’t be seeing many shadows even if he sits there all day; such is the dearth of daylight at that time of the year.
The song’s producer is Liam Howe, who has worked with a wide range of artists including Lana Del Rey, MARINA, FKA twigs and Ellie Goulding. Of all of those Heidrunna is furthest away from twigs and closest to MARINA in my estimation but you can’t compare her directly with any of them. Her debut album, ‘Melodramatic’, set to release shortly, is reported to be heavily 80s-influenced electronica.
The 80s need no revival of course, its remains possibly the best decade for contemporary music but it will be interesting to see how Heidrunna interprets it on her first full-length.
One thing I’d like to see her do on the album, and forgive me for repeating myself here, is to challenge herself a little more. You get the feeling that these songs come easy to her and I’d like to hear at least a little experimentation on a full album, some pushing of that envelope.
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