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Myrkvi (Iceland) – Completely Empty (single/future album track)

It’s getting on for a year since Myrkvi (Magnús Thorlacius) was last here. Now describing himself as a “Cozyman who makes music” and living in a cave (perhaps he’s moved in with the huldufolk), it’s good to have him back after an appearance at SXSW, and it looks as if he might have reverted to being a solo performer after co-writing and performing his second album, ‘Early Warning’, last year with Yngvi Holm, with whom had previously worked in the band Vio.

Also influencing that suggestion is how he refers to his forthcoming third album as “a personal journey of rediscovery with a unique sound.”

Going back to last year’s album I recall how I was impressed by the sheer range of subjects it covered and of the musicianship involved. I concluded the review by saying, “From the very first time I heard Myrkvi I was convinced that he would ultimately come up with an album of great variety, of musical distinction, intelligent lyrics and, most importantly, one that establishes (the duo as it was) as leaders rather than followers. You might say I gave my own early warning.”

So with a second album in the works, where are we going now?

The subject matter here on this single, ‘Completely empty’, is loneliness and the empty feeling you get when left alone on the dance floor. It can be murder, as Sophie Ellis-Bextor will testify, especially when your love heads off to the Ladies’ powder room, never to return, perhaps leaving a ‘Dear John’ letter with her friend, and that glitter ball is shining just on you.

Interestingly he chose for the cover what might be an image of an empty Blue Lagoon, probably Iceland’s most famous attraction these days compared to the glorified municipal swimming pool it was when I knew it in the 1990s.

But for all its international fame it can’t beat back the flames of the nearby volcanic eruption, the approach of which frequently empty it rapidly, the consensus quite rightly being that you can’t swim in boiling water and that while those milky waters from the nearby power station might normally be good for your skin conditions, volcanic lava will relieve you of your skin entirely.

If you hang around you’ll quickly be lonely.

‘Completely Empty’ is certainly more upbeat than I was expecting, and more of a dreamy dance-rock track (I love inventing genres) as well. As he says himself, loneliness and grooviness go hand in hand here and the rejected one could easily find himself shaking his hips in sublime solitary ecstasy without a thought for where his troubled relationship is going.

Meanwhile, it is left to his falsetto vocal to lend an air of wistfulness and the realisation that the last dance comes to everyone.  

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