Believe it or not, there are still some places in Iceland that have escaped the recent wave of mass tourism. One of these blessed corners is a valley up north, in the Dalvik region, called Svarfaðardalur, where traditional rhythms and images have been preserved.
Despite having become a Londoner in every respect, Ösp Eldjárn Kristjánsdóttir (better known as Ösp) comes from that peaceful and rural valley. She moved to the British capital in 2011, bringing with her a lopapeysa sewn by her mother (who’s also a singer) and the revealing repertoire of century-old stories that she learnt in her childhood and adolescence.
Today, Ösp sings and shares those folk stories with her audience, bringing them back to life through contemporary songwriting and interpretation, as well as adding some soul and R&B arrangements.
As written, she brought her family farm, valley and Icelandic landscape to London and you will have the opportunity to listen and imagine them on Wednesday, when she introduces you to her new album (Tales From a Poplar Tree) at Sands Films in Rotherhithe, part of TunedIn London music series.
Like the valley where she comes from, Ösp’s music is a well-preserved and inspiring Icelandic secret. The singer/songwriter from Svarfaðardalur (in the North of the country) has never followed the electro-pop or ambient hype prompting the Icelandic music scene to become one of the most vibrant of the world. Instead,…