Stafrænn Hákon


March 22, 2019

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The Icelandic band Stafrænn Hákon was born in 2001 as a lo-fi experimental project and has been steadily evolving ever since. Today its a full band which incidentally has released its 11th album titled Aftur. Aftur follows 2017's self-released instrumental album Hausi and two Darla released full length albums Eternal Horse and Sanitas.

After Stafrænn Hákon released its instrumental album Hausi in 2017, the band decided to delve into the melodic aspect of music, focusing on harmonized vocals and subtle, yet dynamic instrumentation.

The band´s trademark soundscape is clearly recognizable on Aftur with floaty electric guitars, voice, subtle atmospheres and acoustic textures such as harps and piano.

The album Aftur features 10 songs in total. The main vocalist in Stafrænn Hákon is, as before, the affable architect Magnús Freyr Gíslason. The Dutchman Minco Eggersman, a long time collaborator appears on one song and the Icelandic singer/songwriter Benni Hemm Hemm appears on one song as well.

Aftur can be described as a magical musical journey through Stafrænn Hákon´s subtle atmospheric world and melodic/ambient approach to rock and pop music.

"Maybe not as much crescendos and distortion blowout going on on this one BUT I believe there are some nice dynamics in the instrumental songs and some of the vocal songs like Bakki and Mýri... I wanted to express the smoothness behind the band with this record, meaning the sound not to be filled with too many explosive delayed/reverbed guitars, but more focus on melodies and some harmonies and play around with that. This is also the first record we've recorded entirely through some PRO quality gear :-) but since we are coming from this post-rock roots sort of... the music is written that way and I just love mixing some vocals and melodies into that context i suppose." - Ólafur Josephsson

Stafrænn Hákon´s core consist today of 5 members; the two guitarists Ólafur Josephsson and Lárus Sigurðsson, Árni Þór Árnason who plays bass guitar, Róbert Már Runólfsson who plays the drums and aforementioned Magnús Freyr who is the main vocalist. Together they create a rather tight, melodic sound world. Suffice to say Aftur is the bands most refined and mature album to date.


Óveður aftur, heiðin er lokuð
Kominn á ísöldina

Týndi mér um tíma*
Þú fannst mig aftur
Kominn á áfangastað

Það rignir inn um gluggann
Og niður barinn
Ég lifi illviðrin af, heim

Drífum okkur heim á leið
Okkur liggur ekkert á, heim


(words and voice: Magnús Freyr Gíslason)

Komum við á, á Bakkanum
Þokan leið hjá, í suddanum

Ef ég beygi mig, viltu þá umbera mig
Ef þú hneigir þig, þá skal ég umbera þig
Úti í nóttinni, umvefur mig
Úti í haganum, umlykja mig
Með þátíð í pokanum- svífur þokan um


(words and voice: Magnús Freyr Gíslason)

nú dreymir mig um stað
með engar væntingar, ó nei
ég verð að leggja af stað-
hvað munar mig um það
með undirskrifað blað
með skilmálum um bað, en hey
á ég að votta það
hvað varðar mig um það
mig vantar eyðublað
með staðsetningu og dag
ó nei, á Sveinn að skaffa það?
hann er að tana í spað

Með pínulítinn arf
og tene minningar ó nei
ég þarf að sleppa af stað
á hlýjan þurran stað
og flugið færist nær
en stimpillinn er glær, ó nei
á ég að votta það
ég næ því ekki í dag.


(words and voice: Magnús Freyr Gíslason)

ok þá það, sittu á sama stað
en lindirnar, eru ekki auðfundnar
tjóðra ótemjuna- gældu við goluna
ok þá það, sittu á saman stað

í dimmum dal er kyrrðin mest
á sama stað þar vantar flest
góla í hlíðina, geng yfir mýrina

ok þá það, sittu á sama stað
ég beið
og beið
og tíminn leið
ég eftir sat
og ekkert gat


(words and voice: Magnús Freyr Gíslason)

Kyrrlátar hreyfingar
í litla skóg
Þeir lifðu þetta af
tóku af stað
sungu í kór
Engann vantar, húfu eða hanska
tindátar dansa

Ég viðurkenni það, ég ráfaði af stað
en löngu kominn heim
Og inn í opið kjarr, ég á að sofna þar
Sólin, sólin mun afhenda nýjan dag


(words and voice: Benni Hemm Hemm)

það sem þú sérð er til
En þú sérð mig ekki
Þú sérð ljósið sem kastast
Af mér það er ekkert til
Ekkert til nema ljós
Ljós sem kastast á milliá milli augna, á milli augna

Ljós kastast á milli augna
Við verðum að vera góð við hvort annað
Það er hvort sem er ekkert raunverulegt


(words and voice: Minco Eggersman)

one more try, when everything broken divides us
i can’t deny, that even the hope can be tiring
one more time, a trick up the sleeve, death defying
so sublime, as deep down below it arises

i shy away from darkness
to reveal a glimpse of promise
unbroken by the mindset
unto the longest stretch of silence

i wrestle my way though the sirens
to reach out and touch the horizon
i wrestle my way though the sirens
to reach out and touch the horizon
i wrestle my way though the sirens
to reach out and touch the horizon


Stacja Islandia (translated)

Without any promotion, publicity or loud announcements, the alternative rock band Stafrænn Hákon is back with their 11th longplay!

For more information about the Icelandic band Stafrænn Hákon, led by Ólafur Örn Josephsson ( Calder , Per: Segulsvið and Náttfari ), as well as previous work you can read in the reviews of their previous albums: " Prammi " (2012; review HERE ), " Eternal Horse " (2015; review HERE ) and " Hausi " (2017; review HERE ).

The Icelandic band Stafrænn Hákon was founded in 2001 as an experimental one-man lo-fi project and has been growing ever since. Today it is a full-fledged band with a rich history and very interesting discography. On March 22, 2019, the 11th Stafrænn Hákon album, " Aftur ", appeared on the market , released by the Darla Records label . The material for the album was recorded at Vogor Studios in the period 2017-2018. The whole material was composed by the band, while Ólafur Josephsson was responsible for arranging and mixing the composition . I would add that the author of the cover of the album in question is Árni Þór Árnason .

In addition, guest appearances in the recordings were: Benedikt H. Hermannsson - vocals and lyrics in " Kastast " and Minco Eggersman - vocals and lyrics in " Horizon ".

According to the information in the press release, after the instrumental album Hausi released in 2017 on his latest release, Stafrænn Hákon decided to explore the melodic aspect of music, focusing on harmonized vocal lines and subtle yet dynamic instrumentalisation. The sound of " Aftur " is characterized by clear electric guitars, interesting vocals, delicate atmosphere and acoustic textures built with the help of a harp and piano. The album " Aftur " can be described as a magical musical journey through the subtle climate of Stafrænn Hákon created by their melodic-ambient approach to rock and pop. Except that in the Icelandic concept pop music is something completely different from ours.

Meeting with the boys from Stafrænn Hákon is always pure pleasure, and this time it is no different. Suffice it to say that " Aftur " is the band's most sophisticated and mature album. Stafrænn Hákonbrings us very calm and reflective music. Icelanders hypnotize us with gliding, slow and passionate motives. They charm us with flowing soft and steady beat of the drums, pastel streaks of guitars that weave a pleasant dreamy background, warm piano accompaniment, vibrating organ and fairy-sounding harp parts. Epic spaces emerge from nothingness, but instead of the expected dramatic explosions, sonic attacks and explosions, they are filled with dreamy melodies and pensive, slightly nostalgic vocals (an additional plus for the fact that the whole is sung in Icelandic). I am delighted with the lightness of it all harmonizes with it.

The compositions from " Aftur " are not especially developed or richly arranged. They are characterized by moderation, and yet, thanks to their extraordinary talent for composition and performance, they can draw unique atmospheric landscapes with sound. Here everything goes to the right place both in terms of layout, duration and emphasis. The strength of the song form of post rock music Stafrænn Hákonis its clear and clear sound and intimate mood, which has soothing, calming power. The musicians are not invasive here. They gently familiarize us with subsequent compositions, bringing spiritual comfort. This is very emotional music and you need to listen carefully. Then we will discover its meaning, true face, depth and specific beauty. Then these sounds will touch our interior, comfort the wounded places and give hope for a better tomorrow. I tell you until you want to hide this CD from the world and leave it to yourself. Great thing - I highly recommend it!