Glacial and ethereal, much like the landscapes she inhabits, Icelandic artist JFDR crafts deeply emotive, otherworldly pop. Ahead of her performance at Eurosonic today we caught up with her to find out about five tracks that have influenced her sound.
The creative moniker of multi-instrumentalist Jófríður Ákadóttir, she announced the release of her second album as JFDR New Dreams (due out 13th March) with the delicate, graceful and pensive ‘Work’. Speaking on this track JFDR says explains “‘My Work’ marks a somewhat transitional moment, where I was pushing myself to my limits, travelling constantly, running away from my home, from my demons”.
As Iceland celebrates entering this next decade at the top of the Global Gender Gap Index, their showcase at this year’s Eurosonic sees a 50/50 gender parity represented with JFDR joining the likes of Gabriel Ólafs, Cell7 and Sólveig Matthildur in the Netherlands over the next few days.
Playing Eurosonic tonight and St Pancras Old Church at the end of this month, get to know some of the sounds that have influenced the otherworldly soundscapes of JFDR.
I’m no music writer but I will shortly describe what turns me on about these songs which have stayed with me through the years.
5 EPIC songs, that blew my mind (still do):
Caribbean blue – Enya
enya is the queen of dreamy and I believe this is her masterpiece.
listening to this song is like being swallowed by a moving cloud.
A little lost – Arthur Russell
Arthur leaves nothing in this song that doesn’t need to be there and there is so much space ! between all the elements and textures that he plays with. and I recognise this feeling so well, excitement. a strong reaction.
Unravel – bjork
like longing like running water, there is both power and vulnerability in this song, the chords and slow beat create a heaviness and björk’s voice is a soaring light pushing everything to the front.
I love it.
Xtal – aphex twin
I get shivers when I hear this song. I listened to it on repeat while living in new york and it instantly takes me back there. I was living in a big loft in Brooklyn and blasting this album while spinning around in the spacious room my housemate was a raver in the 90s and sent me a bunch of recordings he made back in the day but mostly I was spinning around in my room or walking around the neighbourhood letting this piece of music take me into trance.
I’m on fire – Bruce Springsteen
again with the sparseness and shortness and focused-ness I have a huge soft spot for driven melancholic songs. they are so sneaky, they are pretending to be happy and light and easy but have this depth, where if you look down you get sucked into it forever.
Upcoming live dates: