Myrkvi has been here before, last year, with the song ‘Villt fræ’ but he’s undergone a rebirth of sorts since then, becoming a duo again.
I say ‘again’ because he has been part of a duo before now, originally in VIO, and with the same partner, Yngvi Holm, with whom he has reunited. Yngvi is the name of an ancient Norse fertility god, also known as Freyr, the ruler of peace and fertility, rain, and sunshine. Now there’s a thing you’d only find here. It’s becoming the Wiki of music blogs.
Not only that; when they were VIO they won the 2014 Icelandic Battle of the Bands, which is no mean claim to fame there believe me, with huge media coverage. And yes, it’s the same one that Of Monsters and Men won, four years before VIO.
The really interesting thing is that this song, ‘Draumabyrjun’, is actually about that beginning to their careers. It’s nice to reminisce.
What I don’t quite get is how a duo can call itself after one half of it, but then Iceland, like Manchester, has always done things differently. Will one of them ‘eclipse’ the other? (Eclipse is the English translation of Myrkvi).
There is an air of caution in Myrkvi’s press release. It says, “What seems like an audacious attempt to kick the year off is actually full of contradictions. What follows the perfect beginning? Most likely is getting stuck in the swamp of not living up to expectations. Myrkvi certainly tempts fate with this Draumabyrjun of the New Year.”
So have they tempted fate too far? Will they drown in that Icelandic swamp (if you can imagine such a thing)?
Some of the lyrics are gloomily apprehensive to say the least:
“The curtains fall, I look up
See many people there who knew me before
But you were nowhere to be seen
I was hoping that we would rise fast
But that hope was short-lived.”
I’m certain they won’t do that.
‘Villt fræ’ was a melancholy acoustic number so it’s impossible to compare like with like because ‘Draumabyrjun’ is more of a rock ballad (by which I mean a ballad vocally and an indie rock track musically) with a tasty guitar solo and licks thrown in for good measure, which is what Yngvi brings to the party.
It has a laid back quality stamped all the way through it but that’s no surprise. I remember when I worked for Icelandair and spent a lot of time there. I was never at a loose end at night. Walk into any downtown Reykjavik bar at night and there would always be a band playing, of the highest quality. And it’s even more evident if you go to Iceland Airwaves; either the formal event or ‘off venue’, which can be even better.
How 350,000 people can keep coming up trumps like this never ceases to amaze me and I was Myrkvi I’d be wondering seriously if I/they could repeat that 2014 success.
If you are in Iceland you can see them live at the KEX Hostel on 4th February where they will be playing at a concert night with Ragnar Ólafsson from Árstíðir and the emerging US folk star Hayfitz.
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