Júníus Meyvant from Iceland is an artist who is here to make us smile. With a colourful dose of freaky folk-pop, this new kid on the block released his first single in May and has already got us excited to hear more.
The single in question is called Color Decay and was released by Reykjavik-based Record Records on 5 May. The track has been getting a fair bit of airplay outside Iceland as well (including on a certain radio show, which also mentions our lovely Nordic Vibes too: listen here, about 1h20 into the show).
The man behind the sound, with its rich, familiar and soulful feel, is Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson. He prefers to go by the alter-ego Júníus Meyvant as his recording name, which is fine by us. Unnar has previously appeared as a backing vocalist for Hymnalaya, who I saw performing last year in Reyjkavik. Nice to hear, then, that Júníus Meyvant has recently been announced as an artist who will play Iceland Airwaves 2014.
Unleashing his alter ego
So what do we know of this soulful character? Not so much, apart from he is from the Vestmann Islands. Rumour has it that he was a little eccentric as a young boy, with only two loves in life: skateboarding and painting. It was on when he was in his early twenties that he began playing any instrument, when he stumbled upon a beat-up guitar at his parents’ house and started playing around with it.
The sounds that this encounter unleashed now surround our ears. His label tells us: ‘By playing the guitar, he managed to tame his inner beast and his sense for songs and melodies burst like rockets. The uncontrollable urge for writing music and constant flow of ideas kept him tossing and turning every night and day forever and a day.’ Thus, his alter ego was born.
More sounds from this intriguing artist will follow soon (we hope). For now, we were pleased with the recent teaser that a video will be coming soon (see below), and in the meantime, we can dose up on his track – and those of his fellow compatriots – which appears on a recent compilation from Record Records, This is Icelandic Indie Musiic (Vol.2).
- 1. Mammút – Blóðberg
- 2. Ojba Rasta – Ég veit ég vona
- 3. FM Belfast – Brighter Days
- 4. Agent Fresco – Dark Water
- 5. Benny Crespo’s Gang – Birthmarks
- 6. Leaves – Ocean
- 7. Mono Town – Peacemaker
- 8. Júníus Meyvant – Color Decay
- 9. Lay Low – Gently
- 10. Tilbury – Turbulence
- 11. Vök – Before
- 12. Hymnalaya – In My Early Years*
- 13. Snorri Helgason – Kveðja
*Not featured on vinyl release, but included with digital download
Color Decay – Released 5 May 2014:
Album available via iTunes.