Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Inki (Iceland) – Svífa (Soaring) (single and track from forthcoming album)

I reckon we’ll have to make this the last single from Inki’s album or there will be nothing left to review.

I’m always happy to listen to her work though. She’s an interesting character, even more so than her compatriots, with a knack of creating challenging songs on a host of subjects as far removed from each other as a friend’s failed love affair, ‘destructive interference’ in a couple that could be misconstrued as BDSM, and the assorted thoughts of the inmates of Reykjavik’s women’s prison about their lovers.

She also has what I call the female Iceland spirit, in spades. I spent five years working for Icelandair and the Tourist Board and I always marvelled at the independence of Icelandic women. No little girlies here, they’re confident, assertive and you know who wears the pants in many households. Add in the fact that many are six foot blue eyed blondes straight out of Vogue magazine and you can’t go wrong really, can you? There’s much to look up to.

Incidentally, I’m not still working for the Tourist Board, nor am I running a dating agency! Don’t message me with requests…

Here’s an example of that assertiveness in action. A few years ago I set about interviewing a young woman for a job (not an Icelandic one this time). Half way through the interview she turned the tables completely and started interviewing me. That’s got Icelandic female attitude written all over it.

Lo and behold, years later and in a similar vein along comes Inki with an instruction in her press release: “Here is a link to listen to the song. And while you do I want you to picture yourself in a car, cruising through the Icelandic countryside with your crush.”

That’s not a request. It’s an order.

Anyway, she continues,

“The atmosphere is serene, but the silence between you carries a meaning. It’s autumn, that time of year when the daylight is slowly disappearing in Iceland, the mountain peaks hint of a touch of snow, and nature turns orange. It’s time to cosy up for a long winter ahead.”

Hm. I’ll pass on the Icelandic weather in winter, thank you, brass monkeys and all that. And the ‘disappearing daylight’ too, having once had to abandon a tour of the geysers and waterfalls with a group of journalists at 11 o’clock in the morning because “we can’t see a f***ing thing, Dave.”

‘Svífa’ is her first song in Icelandic on the album and one in which she reversed the production process, introducing the supporting instrumentalists right from the start and then producing the song around that output. And she also wrote the music first, adding the lyrics from her friend Anna Marsý later.

“Confronting my fears” as she describes it, she’s written “the scariest thing imaginable – an Icelandic love song. To me that is more terrifying than a leaked video of me rolling naked in the moss.”

Oh, I don’t know about that. Is the video on YouTube?

She’s incorporated the surrounding nature in the song as many Icelandic singer-songwriters do, “as a way to describe one’s emotions” while throwing in some “lovey-dovey lyrics and poems that resonated with me”.

I was dreading having to translate the Icelandic into English. If there’s a harder language anywhere in the Solar System I’d like to know what it is. But Inki’s done it for us. Is there anything she can’t do?

The lines (you can find them in here, one of Inki’s extraordinary tomes: collectively suggest a Thelma & Louise scenario; two people who turn out to be the lovers they didn’t know they were with a covert, closet kiss before dying.

That probably isn’t the meaning at all but Anna Marsý writes lyrics that are capable of multiple levels of interpretation.

Musically, ‘Svífa’ translates as ‘Soar’ or ‘Soaring’ and it does, partly on account of some lovely guitar work by Pétur Ben, one of Iceland’s leading exponents on that instrument with his trademark almost ‘spaghetti western’ sound, innovative double bass from Birgir Steinn Theodorsson, ethereal vocals from Inki and sharp production from PALMR.

I’m reminded that Pétur Ben played (I think) on another ‘road’ song, Soffía (Björg)’s ‘The Road’ along with Inki’s drummer here, Kristófer Rodriguez Svönuson.

In other words she’s got a top band here and hopefully there will be some live shows before long.

Find her on:





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