Grafík – “Sýn” (1983)

Grafík is another one of those solid 1980s Icelandic new wave bands, alongside their peers like Kikk, Bara Flokkurinn, Frakkarnir, and Dúkkulísur. I’ve picked up a few of their albums over the years on various trips to Reykjavik, and on our must recent visit bought a copy of 1983’s Sýn. Believe it or not Life in the Vinyl Lane fans, this is the last remaining record for our Airwaves trip that I have awaiting a listen. It took me two months to get through all the vinyl… and I still have CDs I haven’t gotten to yet!

I don’t have much to say about this album. Maybe I’m a bit burnt out. I don’t know. It’s decent, and it certainly has a somewhat trippy vibe like a lot of Icelandic bands from this period do, nowhere more so than on the song “Africano,” an instrumental with some super spacey sounds, funky bass, and plinky guitar – very Þeyr-esque. In fact side B as a whole has a more experimental feel to it that the more straight forward first side. Perhaps a hint of Oingo Boingo on “Fyrir Mynd”? I’m not entirely sure, but that does keep it interesting.

One thing I do know for sure is that kids in Iceland in the early 1980s were certainly listening to a more exotic type of new wave than we were here in the US. But that just fits with the whole idea within the Icelandic scene, that if you’re going to make music, you need to do something different. Which is why it’s so damn cool.