One Week Wonder - 'Mars' EP
If truth be told we're a bit overwhelmed with the amount of new Nordic music out there right now. With a big inbox of new submissions, a whole list of artists to check out from various Festivals and some exciting Album releases due (notably the Delay Trees), there is no shortage of material to write about. But with the attention on Norway through the by:Larm and Trondheim Calling festivals, I do feel we've neglected Iceland in this last couple of weeks, so we're delighted to correct that by introducing you to the soft charms of 'One Week Wonder'.
This is another band that we probably should have come across before, but they're still relatively new, with a debut EP entitled 'Mars' only released towards the end of last year. Formed by Magnús Benedikt Sigurðsson, Árni Guðjónsson (ex Monsters and Men) and Helgi Kristjánsson, the band have been living and writing music in Berlin, and whilst describing themselves as a Dream Pop band, they probably have more in common with bands like Ampop rather than your Gold Celeste's of the Nordic world, mainly on account of them having 2 keyboard players.
'Angel Eyes' opens the EP, and with a gentle melody and laid back lilting harmonies, but the 70's influences are immediately noted too, with distinct keyboard flourishes and it's a track which has has received good airplay on national Icelandic radio. In particular I'm struck by the lovely vocals on 'Korea', Magnús Sigurðsson has this effortless and timeless voice, which could fit into so many different styles of music. 'Mars' probably has more in common with a more 'modern' sounding Indie track, another stunning melody and it has the most sensational video to go with it, and which recently won an award for best Icelandic Music Video too. And I really like the final track on the EP 'Vestri', mainly because of the rich instrumental section at the end, which builds to a huge climax - I certainly hope the band explore those types of sounds in future releases.
This is the award winning 'Mars' video:
'One Week Wonder' write laid back dreamy music, with gentle melodies and synths entwined with delicate thoughtful vocals, all working in unison. But with influences as varied as 70's disco and progressive rock to indie bands from the 21st century, it's a heady swirling mix of sounds. This is music to get immersed into, to detach yourself from the stresses of the world. Clearly if you're looking for some upbeat high tempo music to do some wild gym routine or to pump yourself before a bungee jump, then maybe this won't quite be for you. But with an appearance due at SXSW in Texas in the next few days, these guys could be about to make a huge impression, and I really hope you like 'Mars' as much as I do.