After a funky beginning with jazz horns and shuffling percussion, Icelandic musician Júniús Meyvant (a.k.a. Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson) opens his mouth to sing, and it’s not what you’d expect. Instead of a Nordic growl conjuring Vikings of yore (his blond and bearded look fortifies this image), what issues forth is a smooth, retro ’70s soul vibe and some downright ethereal bits of falsetto. It’s jarringly wonderful.
This song of comfort and hope, ‘Neon Experience,’ was filmed in Stúdíó Sýrland Vatnagarðar near the harbor in Reykjavik for his Spotify Session. It comes from his debut album, ‘Floating Harmonies,’ which is due out on July 8, on Record Records. You can preorder a physical copy on Record Records’ site.
“Don’t let your mindset fool around
don’t let the whole world drag you down
new day will come, come around.”
– Neon Experience
The song reached 91,000 plays and charted at number 2 on Hype Machine. In his native Iceland, he won the Best Newcomer and Best Song Icelandic Music Awards and received nominations for Best Male Singer and Best Song. His music has been played on BBC Radio London, Radio X and Amazing Radio, and he has regularly toured around Europe. In the U.S., his debut single ‘Color Decay’ was chosen by KEXP’s programming director Kevin Cole as Song of the Year, with praise for his guitar playing, in addition to his singing. His music effortlessly melds authentic-sounding soul with folk and pop sensibilities.
For now, you’ll have to be in Europe to see a live performance. Júniús will be playing at London’s Bushstock festival with Dan Croll on June 18th, and is set to embark on a European tour beginning in September. See his official site for dates and details.
P.S. – Just released (5/17) is the official video for ‘Neon Experience,’ a fascinating ‘day in the life’ mini-documentary of an Icelander and his young son. A convincing tourism advertisement if I ever saw one!