• Stu Larsen

    Apr 9 2015, 10:06

    i know this might sound like a terrible and disrespectful oversimplification, but the truth is, in my head s are roughly divided into two broad categories: the ultimately sad ones (think Damien Rice) and the not-so-sad ones (think Jack Johnson). i love both categories dearly and wholeheartedly, but i gotta say that the latter is somewhat underrepresented. luckily for all those of us who long for some slightly less sombre acoustic-folksy music, an n guy named Stu Larsen decided to quit his banking job a couple of years ago and now is traveling the world, making records, and playing awesome gigs for the lovely folks like ourselves.

    Stu Larsen has a red beard, and long creamy hair, and a gastby cap, and a mischievous smile when he sings. his latest album is named “Vagabond,” and this seems like a totally justified choice for a person who starts most of his songs with something along the lines of “i wrote this one on a road trip in California,” or “this song was written when i was on a ferry from London to Dublin,” or “this is about driving though South Australia.” in short, if you are looking for some wanderlust inspiration, check out Stu.

    another cool thing is that Stu occasionally plays with his singer-songwriter friend from New Zealand named Luke Thompson; and when you hear these two fellas sing together while their voices blend in perfection, you might start believing in angels.

    where to start:

    King Street - my personal favorite: i’ve actually had it on repeat - mornings on my way to work, afternoons during lunch, evenings on my way home - for more than a week now. it’s got good lyrics, a catchy melody, and beautifully swelling dynamics.

    Music Is My Mistress - my personal favorite number two. you might think it’s a song about how difficult it is to have a girlfriend when you are a singer-songwriter, bla bla bla. well, i prefer to interpret it as a song about commitment to work. great motivational stuff, really.

    The Mile & Cocoon - these are your angel-choir kinda songs (that is, if angels were singer-songwriters with guitars. which of course they are - i mean, are there any other options?). i’m not quite sure on what occasions people would normally listen to an angelic choir, but these seem like great mellow tunes for driving, walking, or - i don’t know - sitting around summer night bonfires or something.

    Thirteen Sad Farewells - a song that has words like “sad,” “thirteen,” and “farewells” in it seems to be doomed (and that’s just the name of the song - imagine how much worse it can get). but in fact, this is a light and quite cheerful track - great for humming along while you’re trying not to burn your omelet.

    give Stu Larsen a listen if you like Passenger, Mumford & Sons, Bear’s Den, Jason Mraz, Vance Joy, and Joshua James.

    and if you don’t know any of these people, give Stu a listen anyway. because i really cannot think of any reason why you shouldn’t.
  • AdHd

    Apr 9 2015, 9:52


    chances are that seeing these two words together made you think of the lovely fellas from Sigur Rós (is Jónsi bowing an imaginary guitar in your head right now, too?), or Bjork and her out-of-this-world soundscapes, or minimalist experimental tunes of Ólafur Arnalds, or folksy and murmuring Seabear, or everybody’s indie darlings Of monsters and men, or icelandic james vincent mcmorrow Ásgeir, or <insert an alternative name of an icelandic band/singer/musician of your liking>.

    just as probable is that you simply shrugged your shoulders and closed this webpage altogether.

    well, if you are me, than it’s all pretty straightforward: since last friday the words "” make you think about Adhd. Adhd - as in “four icelandic dudes that play ,” not the abbreviation for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    if you imagine a pianist, a saxophonist, and a guitarist that all seem to look so bizarrely alike with their funky red hair, beards, and stylish shirts that you start questioning your eyesight, and also add one drummer who has none of the above mentioned attributes but rather reminds you of a teenager in one of these hip-hop caps and a bulky jumper, you will pretty much get the idea of what Adhd stand for visually. moreover, Adhd dudes have these ideal-typical totally-absorbed-jazz-musicians kind of facial and bodily expressions while performing their tracks - grinning, closing their eyes, shaking their heads, grimacing - well, you get the picture.

    sometimes such fancy looks simply work to deflect listeners’ attention from and substitute for music-related deficits. luckily, this is not the case with Adhd. i did indeed admire their shirt taste at the gig, but the bottom-line is: these guys make impeccable instrumental jazz-rock-indie fusion, which is pretty awesome.

    the challenge with jazz fusion (as with any jazz. or any music. or anything at all, for that matter) is that it’s not easy to find the balance between sounding too experimental and sophisticated (to the point where it becomes totally incomprehensible and you start asking yourself why you are actually listening to this voluntarily) and sounding too straightforward and predictable. as insurmountable as this challenge might appear, Adhd prove that it can be overcome. their music is quite easy to listen to as the tracks have a structure that is not hard to follow. and yet they are anything but boring, with diverse rhythms and tempos, ranging from fast and upbeat sounds to bluesy, long, and drawn-out ones - sometimes all in one track.

    where to start:

    Inni Á Skónum” - one of my personal favorites, goes great with morning coffee.

    nautn” - my personal favorite number two, version for the evening coffee. it has both a mellow and a bit more dramatic part. really beautiful track, dudes.

    London Út” - this is the ultimate background tune for when you’re trying to get something done, whether it’s decluttering your closet, finishing that overdue essay, or adding covers to all albums in your iTunes library.

    La Famiglía” & “Mongóli Á Skíðum" - perfect tracks for a quiet sunday night dinner or for indulging in one of these existential crises.

    give Adhd a listen if you like both something avant-garde like John Zorn and something classical like John Coltrane; Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell.

    and if you don’t know any of these people, i’d say give Adhd a listen anyway. because they are awesome.