As we’ve seen across the western world in the last few weeks, whether it’s the Brits or the Grammys, it’s the time of the year where our beloved Godlike musicians and bands are bestowed with lots of shiny trinkets with the words “Best (insert appropriate title here) 2011”, as their reason for existing is confirmed by either their peers, or the bovine masses that we call the general public.
And in Iceland, it’s no exception as the 17th Annual Music Awards are upon us. the winners will be announced on the 8th of March, but the nominees were announced a couple of weeks ago. If you don’t want to know who they are, then do not read below this line. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Album cover of the year:
Sigurður Eggertsson for “Pólýfónía” with Apparat Organ Quartet
Hallmar Freyr Þorvaldsson for “Baldur” with Skálmöld
Hrafn Gunnarsson for “Helvítis fokking fönk” with Stórsveit Samúels J Samúelssonar
Sara Riel for “The end is as near as your teeth” with Swords of Chaos
Lilja Birgisdóttir og Inga Birgisdóttir for “Go” with Jónsi
WHO SHOULD WIN: Needs to go to Apparat Organ Quartet and Siggi Eggertsson. The album cover and design is truly an object to gaze and admire. Looks and feels more like a book, with an 8-bit styled coat of arms representing eachin song. Expertly designed and has to win
Performer of the year:
Ágúst Ólafsson and Gerrit Schuill
Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir
Stórsveit Samúels Jóns Samúelssonar
WHO SHOULD WIN: I think this will go to JÓNSI. Agent Fresco and Stórsveit Samúels Jóns Samúelssonar are very good live, but everyone I’ve met who has been to Jónsi’s live show have enthused wildly about everything, from the set design and video graphics, to the sound and the overall atmosphere.
Voice of the year:
Jóhann Smári Sævarsson
Arnór Dan Arnarson
Jón Þór Birgisson
WHO SHOULD WIN: If we are talking about not just a good singer, but the ability to use the voice as an instrument in itself, then it should go to ÓLÖF ARNALDS as she often tries to stretch the feel of her songs with her vocals.
Newcomer of the year:
Ari Bragi Kárason
Herdís Anna Jónasdóttir
Just Another Snake Cult
WHO SHOULD WIN: Has to go to SÓLEY. Her songs and style are far and away better than the other contenders. I’m also not sure why acts like… ooh… Nóra or Quadroplus aren’t on there as they had much more of an impact musically than some of the other nominees.
Songwriter of the year:
Bjartmar Guðlaugsson, text for Skrýtin veröld
Róbert Örn Hjálmtýsson, text for Lúxus upplifun
Andri Ólafsson og Steingrímur Teague, text for Búum til börn
Haraldur F Gíslason og Heiðar Örn Kristjánsson, text for Meira pollapönk
Bragi Valdimar Skúlason, text for fönkóperunnar Diskóeyjunnar and Christmas albums with Baggalútur and Memfismafían
Jónas Sigurðsson, text for Allt er eitthvað
WHO SHOULD WIN: Wow this is really picking out the least mutated looking child at the Annual little miss Chernobyl pageant. All of these nominations wrote songs that i felt did not deserve to win frankly . Sigh…. if i have to give it to someone, then i suppose it will have to be JÓNAS SIGURÐSSON who wrote the album for his band Jónasi Sigurðsson og Ritvélum Framtíðarinnar.
Composer of the Year
Jóel Pálsson for Horn.
Skúli Sverrisson for Sería 2.
Jón Þór Birgisson for Go.
Pétur Hallgrímsson for Let me be there with Ellen.
Ólöf Arnalds for Innundir skinni.
Bjartmar Guðlaugsson for Skrýtin veröld.
Single of the year:
“Go do” from Go (Jón Þór Birgisson)
“Crazy car” from Innundir skinni (Ólöf Arnalds)
“Það geta ekki allir verið gordjöss” from Diskóeyjuni
“113 Vælubíllinn” from Meira pollapönk (Pollaönk)
“Konan á allt” from Skrýtin veröld
“Hamingjan er hér” from Allt er eitthvað (Jónas Sigurðsson og Ritvélar framtíðarinnar)
WHO SHOULD WIN: Again not a very good list. Where is “Cats” from Reykjavik!, or “Cargo Frakt” form Apparat Organ Quartet? Shit, I’d even take “Kimba” from Retro Stefson. For example, “113 Vælubíllinn” by Pollapönk has a chorus that goes “WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO WEE WOO”, like a police siren on fire trying to impersonate early 90’s indie like the Frank and Walters. Single of the year? Fuck. That….
Ok it’s going to ÓLÖF ARNALDS by default.
Composition of the year:
Hrím (Anna Þorvaldsdóttir)
Allt hefur breyst, ekkert hefur breyst (Haukur Tómasson // Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson &Caput)
Kvartett (Þórður Magnússon)
Album of the year – Classical/contemporary:
Iepo Oneipo/Heilagur draumur
Album of the year – Jazz:
Horn – Jóel Pálsson
Reginfirra – Reginfirra
The Dream – Sunna Gunnlaugs
For the last 3 categories, I’m not going to give a winner, as i haven’t heard any of the music that has been nominated. Think i will need to investigate them further though….
Album of the year – Rock/Pop:
A long time listening – Agent Fresco
Go – Jónsi
Allt er eitthvað – Jónas Sigurðsson og Ritvélar framtíðarinnar
Innundir skinni – Ólöf Arnalds
Lúxus upplifun – Hljómsveitin Ég
Búum til börn – Moses Hightower
Last train home – Kalli
Kimbabwe – Retro Stefson
WHO SHOULD WIN: Ok here it is, the main event, the big prize! i can see 3 albums that don’t look out-of-place (Agent Fresco, Jónsi, Ólöf Arnalds) and four that I’m struggling to understand why they’re there (Retro Stefson, Kalli, Moses Hightower, Hljómsveitin Ég, Jónas Sigurðsson og Ritvélar framtíðarinnar) as there were far FAR better albums made over the last year that needed to be in there. I even saw Hljómsveitin Ég at dillons bar alst year, and thoght that they were completely overblown and derivative. And they’re nominated. Somewhere there is a god that is seriously trolling some poor Icelanders.
In the end I’m going to go for AGENT FRESCO. “A long time listening” is a very powerful, intelligent that rocks. It rocks haaaard.