Svavar Knútur 🇮🇸 - ‘The Tide is Rising’ (single)
I wrote about Svavar Knútur recently when I came across an old track of his called ‘Tiger and Bear’, knowing that there was new music on the way. It came much sooner than I thought, it’s entitled ‘The Tide Is Rising’ and it’s not quite what I was expecting – in a good way that is.
But judging from social media posts from Svavar, the release comes at a when he’s had to make some really tough decisions as an artist, as realistically it seems unlikely that he will release any more albums after his next one – having tracks streamed over 1 million times on Spotify in the last 12 months doesn’t equate to CD / Vinyl sales sadly, and it sounds like he will be having a big rethink on how he will take things forward.
Of course most of us have to take some responsibility for that (not everyone streams of course), but the reality is that I probably wouldn’t have come across 100’s of Nordic artists without access to some form of online streams, although you’re all more than welcome to start sending me demo CD’s through the post if you want. The solution realistically I guess must lie somewhere in the revenue that artists get from streaming services, with us all being prepared to pay a fair price for them. I’m sure everyone reading this would be happy to pay more if they knew the money was going direct to musicians.
In the meantime our favourite Icelandic troubadour has released that new song, a beautifully sad track entitled ‘The Tide is Rising’, which could maybe refer to his feelings of the music industry if the words suggested something different (at least at first) - “don’t be afraid it’s only water…. to wash away your fears, your doubts, your pain“. But the track slowly builds in stature, with the initially solitary cello being added to with a full string quartet, and an incredible feeling of almost panic as if the water is rising to a level that just can’t be contained. It’s impressive and slightly frightening.
The arrangements do remind me of early Divine Comedy, maybe ‘Promenade’ era. And that‘s obviously a good thing.
Anyway the best place to listen to ’The Tide is Rising’ would be on Bandcamp and then you could have bought it after, but I can’t see it there. So here it is on another streaming service.
Svavar is planning on heading out on a European tour as soon as things are practical. I have no idea if that includes the UK, but if it does I’ll definitely be going to a gig, he writes lovely music and we owe him a pint of something - plus we can buy some some actual vinyl or CD‘s.