Trans Europa Express – Day 2: Ólafur Arnalds, John Grant, Kleerup, Abba, Einstürzende Neubauten & Margaret Berger

TEE InfoMy next musical stop is Iceland and this entrancing track from Ólafur Arnalds. I think this is the first 2k video to be posted on the site and the imagery makes the most of it. Ólafur is one half of Kiasmos who are well worth checking out and also a collaborator of Nils Frahm who has cropped up on ‘The Uncertain Smile’  before.
Even if you haven’t heard this before, you almost certainly have heard some of his work as he did the score for the TV series Broadchurch.

Quite how Iceland  – population 280,000 – turns out so many world class recording artists remains a mystery,  but it is one of the most dramatic and welcoming countries I have visited, so perhaps that is part of it.

This is called  Ljósið – which means ‘Light’

Scroll down for choices from Andy, Roy , Margaret & Gerard


19 thoughts on “Trans Europa Express – Day 2: Ólafur Arnalds, John Grant, Kleerup, Abba, Einstürzende Neubauten & Margaret Berger

  1. Once again, I will use Richard’s choice as an inspiration for today’s choice. So, following on from a native of Iceland, we have someone who has spent quite awhile living there. .Back in the day when this Euro theme was first mooted, I heard the opening lyric to this song, and thought, “that’s a tenuous link, but it’s a great song” and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters! So, from his most recent “Grey Tickles, Black Pressure” album we have Mr Grant’s opinion that “Stockholm is a place that I adore”…

    1. As we have discussed at length, I’m a huge fan of Mr Grant and enjoyed the tracks from this album that featured on the last tour, but this is one of the ones on the album that leaves me a bit bemused- it drifts pleasantly along though. At least two of his touring band are from Oslo, so this live version qualifies on that score as well.

  2. Keeping things up near the arctic circle, this a Nordic collaboration from 2014. Kleerup is a Swedish producer and Susanne Sandfor a Norwegian solo artist. Unlike a lot of scanditronica this has a very 80’s, Pat Benatar meet the Pet Shop Boys retro feel. Cracking tune all the same.

  3. Hmmmmm … to continue the Nordic theme.
    imo this track by Margaret Berger should have won Norway the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 – it somehow finished only fourth.
    Her debut album was in 2004. Here’s a more intimate live version as opposed to the official glitzy entry

      1. I happen to stumble on a eurovision preview that year and marvelled at her voice too and how much the song stood out from the other typically bland offerings … mind you, the Icelandic entry then (as further proof of the country’s disproportionate musical contribution), although more traditional, also made an impression on me – a song called Eg A Lif by Eythor Ingi … and another great voice

  4. Enjoying the blog – some brilliant choices. Related to day two comments can I suggest Winner Takes it All from Abba from 1980. The group remain the most famous winners of Eurovision, when it was held in the Brighton Dome in 1974 and the not spectacular it is today. All about a relationship break up and in reality the end of Abba. Will it be the case with Boris and Dave that the winner takes it all?

    1. Great Choice! This has stood the test of time too … hasn’t it. Even though I know what’s coming, I’m still stunned by this and how it blends perfectly with Benny’s piano playing and the glorious finishing bars

  5. I guess I am in a minority in preferring later period ‘sad’ ABBA to the earlier hits but this is a great example of why. I am pretty sure that I have also posted ‘The Day Before You Came’ elsewhere on the site.

    1. A lovely song and a great video, thanks. I was debating whether to include Sigur Ros as I was worried I was skewing to much towards Iceland, so you have helped me out here! Any Einsturzende Neubauten track you would partuculatly recommend?

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