This world was never made for me and you
Back in 2017, we were suitably impressed by the work of Icelandic duo East of My Youth. There was a simple charm on tracks such as ‘Go Home’ and ‘M O T H E R’ which presented fragile pop combined with subtle synth-pop elements.
Consisting of Thelma Marín Jónsdóttir’s rich vocals and Herdís Stefánsdóttir’s evocative beats, East Of Youth originally formed back in Reykjavik in May 2015. The duo swiftly began getting critical acclaim from a number of established outlets, including i-D and The Line Of Best Fit. But they also began building a loyal following from their festival appearances, which included performances at the likes of SXSW, Iceland Airwaves and Sonar Reykjavik.
Their latest outing ‘By Blue’ is out this month (making this an anniversary release of sorts), a sweeping slice of cinematic pop that oozes with stylish electronica. At times sounding like Susanne Sundfør meets Lana Del Rey, Thelma’s smoky vocals deliver some captivating lyrics (“And the clouds have come to rest/and the years have made their final nest”) across a composition that wrestles with themes of doubt and reflection.
“’By Blue’ started as a jam session in the studio” suggests East Of Youth on the original catalyst for the tune. Not quite realising its potential at the time, it was packed away in a drawer of “forgotten things” for a period.
“When we revisited the song, the whole meaning came through in a new and interesting way. We were going through changes in life and our project, so the song went through a metamorphosis and became something new and unknown to us.”
Much of the track’s power come from the sultry vocals, augmented by bell-like tones that echo across the composition’s Nordic soundscapes. If you haven’t yet discovered the icy pop perfection of East Of My Youth, then ‘By Blue’ presents a good starting point.
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.