Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Myrkvi (Iceland) – Self-Pity (single/track from forthcoming album)

Regular readers may remember that Myrkvi is an item now, the actual Myrkvi (Magnús Thorlacius) having reunited with Yngvi Holm, with whom he/they was/were VIO, which was/were winner(s) of the Icelandic Battle of the Bands in 2014 (which they humorously refer to as ‘swank’ in the press release) but they continue under the Myrkvi brand.

That made me think that perhaps Manchester City should rename itself Haaland, but that isn’t quite the same thing, is it?

This single, ‘Self-Pity’ is also an album track, from ‘Early Warning’, which will be released later this year.

I guess that self pity is an unwanted characterisation that continues to reside in many of us after the last few years (as I write this it is the third anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK, which also took place on a Saturday night and empted the pubs for months, those exiting the premises at midnight wishing each other Merry Christmas. Oh, happy days).

But in this case it refers specifically to the sort of pity you can feel for yourself when you are in a relationship with someone who is depressed (and who might also be feeling exactly the same thing). It is quite an esoteric subject, not the usual material for a song, and I’d hazard a guess that one of the band has experienced this for themselves either directly or indirectly?

They’ve been ramping up the tempo consistently across the three tracks of theirs that we’ve featured and this one is the brightest yet despite the gloomy subject matter.

The PR compares it to work from The Strokes and The Vaccines (ha! Covid again!) but what I hear is something quite different. If you remember Arcade Fire’s ‘Rebellion Lies’ from 2005 (being a band that seems to have fallen out of fashion these days for one reason or another) and that jangly piano from Regine Chassagne allied to an equally jangly guitar, and then speed it up, then you have pretty much the main melody of  ‘Self-Pity’.

If it’s possible to identify one track which ‘made’ the Montreal band, ‘Rebellion Lies’ was it. Perhaps Myrkvi will have the same success with this one, too.

The lyrics take the line that there are two people in a relationship and help can only be offered so far from one to the other. I suppose it’s almost a call to ‘snap out of it’ because ‘you’re bringing me down, too.’ Equally, that the same argument could be made over suicide. You are gone, and beyond caring, but we have to live with the unanswered questions, like ‘why?’

Perhaps I’m reading too much into it but for evidence I offer these brilliant lines:

You take all your pills/But they don’t cover social skills/So the drugs don’t work.”

In the PR they say, “Make of the music video what you will.”

It’s a strange one for sure. I can only guess that the issue is one of bipolar activity and it is symbolised in the form of consistent self-flagellation (the down side) and the martial arts stick fighting (the up side).

But I might be talking rubbish. I often do.

In conclusion they say, “We believe our music can resonate with a lot of people and hope it can help others cope with the everyday madness, as it has done for us.”

Of the forthcoming album, ‘Early Warning’, they add, “It represents a conclusion to the duo’s past and the transition into something new. An introspective reflection of their ‘90s roots, wasted years, and common lunacy.”

Self-Pity’ was released on 17th March.

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Photo credit: Sebastian Madej

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