Myrkvi – Gamechanger (Last single before 'Reflections' album release in October)
We’ve featured Myrkvi twice before, but he’s here again partly because this fourth release from his debut album is probably the pick of the bunch, partly because he seems to be making waves in Iceland and partly because unfortunately he won’t be making any Iceland Airwaves this year because as NMR readers will know there isn’t one. I think I’m right in saying he was one of the first artists to be booked for this year’s festival.
In his last foray Myrkvi (Magnús Thorlacius, he sounds like he should be in Game of Thrones), was travelling around Iceland with some buddies on the chilled-out ‘Coastline’ and before that he was singing about the ‘Skyline’ there. He doesn’t cross any lines on this one, ‘Gamechanger’, which is about finding someone who turns your world upside down.
He says, “I wrote this song when I had just begun dating my girlfriend. I knew it was something special because it was making me feel and enjoy life in ways I had never done before. I could also sense that the feeling was mutual, somehow that was given.”
He continues, “We fit together effortlessly so I could give my emotions perfect freedom, which is exhilarating for a reserved joker like me. I was probably at one of my lowest points in life when I met her, then shortly after I was at the summit. My self-confidence took a U-turn, and I started to feel, for lack of a better word, whole. Everything changed, I even moved out of my parents’ home!” He acknowledges this in the cute lines,
“There's no need to talk, our hearts have spoken.”
The artwork to the single is by the girl in question, who is named as Freydís Halldórsdóttir.
What Myrkvi does on this song is what he didn’t quite do on the previous two, namely grabbing your attention right from the start with some persistent, tuneful piano which is then overtaken by an another attention grabbing moment in the form of a sophisticated guitar solo which then plays out over the piano to the end.
Vocally, Myrkvi reminds me a little of Donovan on this track.
I don’t know if this song will be a game changer for Myrkvi but I have to say that it doesn’t fit the image of what most people think of as typical Icelandic music, which spans from ‘unusual’ to ‘weird’. The song, and the way he presents it, is pretty mainstream to the point where he could be Iceland’s Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith. No harm in that.
‘Gamechanger’ is released on 18th September and the album 'Reflections' on 30th October.
(Incidentally, ‘Recording, mixing & bass’ is accredited to one Arnar Guðjónsson.
I knew someone by that name when I worked for Icelandair. He was a driver/tour guide for Reykjavik Excursions. Could it be the same Arnar? There are only 300,000 of them after all and they all multitask at a level we couldn’t comprehend. Árni Guðjónsson was keyboardist with Of Monsters and Men and now works with several Icelandic artists, but not this one.
The piano on this track comes courtesy of Sigurður Thorlacius, who I assume to be his brother. I know nothing of his other jobs!)