SÓLSTAFIR are now premiering a stunning new video for the track “Bláfjall”, taken from their latest released full-length ‘Berdreyminn’. The video is now streaming via Classic Rock at the link below!
SÓLSTAFIR comment: “Here it is, our 3rd video by the almighty Bowen Staines. After we did our last video with Bowen, “Lágnætti” we talked about for years to make another video together. As usual, adventures are like magnets when we join up forces, and this one was no different. We are super proud of the result, and yet again, Bowen shows that he is the master of this game. Enjoy Bláfjall.”
Director Bowen Staines ads to the story: “‘Bláfjall’ was produced and filmed in Iceland from August – October 2018, and edited until April 2019 at the Don’t Panic Films studio in Massachusetts. While originally shot in 4K, the finished product was then scanned in its entirety onto 35mm film. ‘Bláfjall’ tells the story of a mind overtaken with grief, and the mental gymnastics often employed to circumvent grief in order to avoid confronting it.
Everyone has their secret sorrows which the world knows not; wounds that never show on the body. In ’Bláfjall’, these wounds take the form of memories relived in the present, yet altered by the knowledge of what will come in the future. If grief were sentient, it would attack these memories with the voracity of a virus slowly destroying a computer hard drive, or an illness ravaging a body.
Pre-production for ‘Bláfjall’ started almost two years ago, and the first day of principal photography began in Hvalfjörður, Southwest Iceland. Predictably, it was so windy (a 115kg dolly track blew over), that I had to rewrite that day’s five-page shotlist in the trunk of Addis’s Jeep.
The rest of the video came together wonderfully, thanks to our cast of Flosi Þorgeirsson (HAM, Glerakur), Bella Morgan, Palli Banine, and Minerva Geirdal. The only other notable thing that happened during this production were the days leading up to crashing that infamous Mercedes.
The car was an automatic, and the transmission slipped like butter. The momentum from the slightest forward acceleration, say, at a stoplight, would send the gearshift flying back into first gear, and the engine redlining; there is no sound quite like doing 40 on the highway in first gear. I was heading to pick up Flosi in Reykjavík, when suddenly I was doing 60kph in reverse while still going forwards, with the whole car transforming into an industrial noise album.
The day we filmed the crash, we’d spent hours lining the car up, bracing the steering wheel properly, and closing the roads. It looked like it was dead-on, and then it wasn’t. It missed the other car by centimeters, veered off the road, hit an embankment on the side of a someone’s driveway, cleared the entire driveway, went through a fence, and crashed into a rock in front of a horse stable. The next try was dead-on.
A heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to everyone who was involved with the making of Sólstafir’s ‘Bláfjall’. To the guys in the band: thank you for trusting me so unconditionally, and allowing me to tell this story with your music. As always, it is a true pleasure to create with you.
We hope that you enjoy watching this as much as we enjoyed making it.
Takk fyrir okkur.”
20 Jul 19 Laukaa (FI) John Smith
10 Aug 19 Schlotheim (DE) Party.San 2019
1. Silfur-Refur (6:54)
2. Ísafold (4:59)
3. Hula (7:07)
4. Nárós (7:23)
5. Hvít Sæng (7:22)
6. Dýrafjörður (7:32)
7. Ambátt (8:08)
8. Bláfjall (8:00)
Music will always be inspired by the environment in which it is created. With its incredible array of highly diverse landscapes ranging from white glaciers via volcanic bizarreness, moss-green bubble-fields, deep fjords, and frost-cracked mountains to black beaches, Iceland has shaped a host of astonishingly original and fiercely individual bands such as SIGUR RÓS, BJÖRK, and SÓLSTAFIR.
SÓLSTAFIR embody the ever-turning wheel of seasons with their shifting light, darkness, and colours, extreme Northern climate, the stark contrasts, the closeness of beauty and deadly forces of nature, the impressive sceneries that have the bones of ancient gods enshrined in them like hardly any other band in every aspect of their existence.
SÓLSTAFIR are not like any other band. Their latest album, ‘Berdreyminn’ underscores this statement. As its title “a dreamer of forthcoming events” aptly describes, the four Icelanders have taken their already impressive evolution one step further. The band has continued to amalgamate haunting melodies, psychedelic phases, as well as strong undercurrents of classic rock and hard rock with echoes of their metal past. Yet SÓLSTAFIR‘s focus is not on style but pure emotion. ‘Berdreyminn’ is eclectic by a conscious choice to make feelings audible and transform taste as well as texture to sound. Genre borders are not broken but simply ignored. Musical influences are gathered from a wide range of sources, re-arranged, and woven into new patterns. Melancholy, longing, anger, joy, pleasure, pain, and other emotions are fulling this album.
Despite leaning clearly towards an expression that can be described as rock today, SÓLSTAFIR have their roots in metal as their debut full-length ‘Í Blóði og Anda’ (2002), which translates as “In Blood and Spirit” still witnesses. Instead of today’s Icelandic gravel throated siren chants, frontman Aðalbjörn Tryggvason spat forth vitriolic crusty vocals and all strings were forged with black metal. Already their next albums ‘Masterpiece of Bitterness’ (2005) and ‘Köld’ (2009) marked stations of a continuous evolution. SÓLSTAFIR went further along their solitary path and obviously left any categorising box with the ground-breaking follow-ups ‘Svartir Sandar’ (2011) and ‘Ótta’ (2014), which received high critical acclaim and attracted new fans in equal measure, while managing the difficult feat of keeping most of their earlier following too.
SÓLSTAFIR have set sails to new horizons with ‘Berdreyminn’. Yet the Icelanders brought their home with them and the silhouette of their vessels remains easily recognisable. Welcome aboard on a new adventurous musical journey into uncharted territories.
Aðalbjörn Tryggvason: guitar, vocals
Svavar Austmann: bass
Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson: guitar
Hallgrímur Jón Hallgrímsson: drums, backing vocals
Brass, strings, and piano across the tracks
Recording: Sundlaugin Studio (IS), Birgir Jón Birgisson & Jaime Gomez Arellano
Mixing: Orgone Studio (UK), Jaime Gomez Arellano
Mastering: Sterling Mastering (US), Ted Jensen
Cover art: Adam Burke