Westman Islands, Iceland-based singer/songwriter quickly received attention across Iceland, Scandinavia and elsewhere for the old-school soul, funk, pop-inspired sound of his debut single “Color Decay;” in fact, the single managed to be a major breakout hit as it landed at number 1 on the Icelandic charts. And as the 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. And adding to a growing profile both nationally and then internationally, Meyvant has received airplay on Radio X, BBC Radio London, Amazing Radio and KEXP.
Now, earlier this year, I wrote about “Neon Experience,”the first single off the Icelandic singer/songwriter’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Floating Harmonies, a mid-tempo song that paired a mid-tempo arrangement comprised of a warm and soulful horn line, a gorgeous and dramatic string arrangement, twinkling keys, a sinuous bass line, a sultry and slow burning bridge, and an infectiously anthemic hook with Meyvant’s silky falsetto singing lyrics possessing an uplifting and resilient message. And while sonically being reminiscent of Daptone Records, Simply Red and Chet Faker (who recently decided to write and record under his given name Nick Murphy), the song could inspire the most jaded and cynical. “Mighty Backbone,” Floating Harmonies‘ second single paired a strikingly similar arrangement of horns, strings, guitar and bass with complex polyrhythm while possessing a breezy yet careful and deliberate attention to craft that made the song sound as though it were recorded in 1963 — but with a modern production sheen and an underlying bittersweet tone.
And with the release of the album’s third and latest single “Beat Silent Need,” the Icelandic singer/songwriter will arguably cement himself as one of the finest, contemporary, blue-eyed soul singer/songwriters on either side of the Atlantic as his sound nods at 60s and 70s soul, paired with thoughtful and heartfelt lyrics. In this case, this particular song focuses on loneliness and the desperate need for love and to be desired, the self-doubt, confusion, misunderstandings and fear that frequently sabotage our relationships, the difficulties of honestly connecting with others and the blind hope that in every subsequent relationship that we’ll somehow get it right — although most of us fail miserably some way or another.
The recently released video begins with a couple in the middle of a bitter argument as the man drops his woman off for a pregnant woman yoga class taught by a neglectful asshole. When the women bolt from their class, they are subsequently chased by both the yoga instructor and our protagonist’s boyfriend. And it ends with the pregnant woman, worriedly driving herself and her companions to a hospital as they all experience labor pains — without the asshole men in their lives.
Júniús Meyvant Beat Silent Need