Jón Þór - 'Frúin í Hamborg' EP
Another release which has had multiple listens over the last few weeks has been an EP from a long standing but independent member of the Icelandic music scene, 'Jón Þór' which was released a few weeks ago on the excellent Scottish / Polish music label 'Too Many Fireworks. For those UK readers that haven't come across 'Jón Þór' he was the vocalist in Icelandic power pop outfit Lada Sport, a band still well worth checking out online.
The new EP is entitled 'Frúin í Hamborg' and there are so many things to like about it. Firstly this is real Indie Pop - big guitars, even bigger tunes and all written at a good pace too. The tracks have a similar positive feeling to 'We Are Trouble' by the 'Strange Hellos' (featured yesterday), and it would truly be a good thing if every aspiring band wishing to release 'Indie tunes' was made to listen to both - they are all just simply well written pop songs. And actually in many ways there are probably some similarities with that lovely album we reviewed a few weeks ago by fellow Icelandic band 'Suð'.
'Stelpur' ('Girls') is written about the young drunken search for love on nights out in Reykjavik, and contains a line in the chorus which translated into English is broadly 'Oh, I’m so thirsty', which is brilliant. The track rattles along at a great pace, with 'Jón Þór's' distinctive vocals sitting nicely above the guitar noise. 'Einmana menn' is a track about the after effects of the previous night out, not as frenetic but equally likeable. 'Ég er á vesturleið' is a real highlight with some excellent warped guitar lines. And the EP concludes with the title track 'Frúin í Hamborg', which is an appealing summery song with another memorable chorus.
The strength of 'Frúin í Hamborg' is that the tracks are simply really easy to listen to, with catchy tunes, melodies galore and the songs always have an upbeat feel, even if the subject matter isn't always as cheery. And I like that contradiction, especially in 'Stelpur'. So I do recommend this EP, which clearly will have more interest in Iceland given it is sung in Icelandic, but good songwriting is good songwriting, irrespective of language and I hope that everyone will give this a listen.
'Frúin í Hamborg' is released by 'Too Many Fireworks' as a 12” vinyl e.p