Certainly, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you may know that with the release of his debut single “Color Decay,” Westman Islands, Iceland-based singer/songwriter Júniús Meyvant quickly received attention across Iceland, Scandinavia and elsewhere for an old-school soul, funk, pop-inspired sound; in fact, the single was a breakout single that hit number 1 on the Icelandic charts, and as a result of the single’s success, Meyvant wound up dominating that year’s Icelandic Music Awards with nominations for Best Newcomer and Best Male Singer, which he also wound up winning — all of which naturally led to greater attention both across Scandinavia and the European Union, including airplay on Radio X, BBC Radio London, Amazing Radio and the song being chosen by KEXP’s Program Director Kevin Cole as his Song of The Year.
Last month, I wrote about “Neon Experience,”the first single off the Icelandic singer/songwriter’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Floating Harmonies, a single that I think further cements the Icelandic singer/songwriter’s reputation for a sound that possesses elements of old-school soul, pop and funk in mid-tempo arrangement comprised of warm and soulful horn line, a gorgeous and dramatic string arrangement, twinkling keys, a sinuous bass line paired with an infectiously anthemic hook and a slow-burning sultry bridge. All of which are perfect for the silky falsetto. Also you have to add an uplifting and resilient message that could push even the most jaded and cynical through the doldrums in a song that sonically reminded me of the Daptone Records roster — while subtly nodding at the work of Simply Red and Chet Faker.
Floating Harmonies‘ second and latest single “Mighty Backbone” pairs a similar arrangement of horns, strings, guitar and bass with complex polyrhythm. And although the breezy song sounds as though it could have been written and recorded in 1963 as it possesses a careful and deliberate attention to craft — but with a subtly modern production sheen. Ironically, despite the fact that song feels remarkably upbeat, lyrically the song is actually quite bittersweet as the song’s narrator seems to be seeking something that he may not be able to ever truly achieve.