Svavar Knútur - Janúar

Song of the Day
Hosted by Kevin Cole
Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Kevin Cole, host of The Afternoon Show on KEXP, from the many bands playing this year's Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, is "Janúar" by Svavar Knútur, a 2019 single on Dimma Records.
photo by Baldur Kristjans
written by Janice Headley

"People call me melancholic, but I’m just Icelandic."

So says broccoli-lovin' troubadour Svavar Knútur, who's been charming us since his 2015 debut LP Brot. Svavar's songwriting is heart-warming and sincere. "I have no ambitions or aspirations for fame or glory," he continues in his press release. "My only goal is to make the world just a a little bit better place while doing what I love the most. I hope you join me in my quest and we can make wonderful things happen together."

Svavar makes wonderful things happen on his new single "Janúar," a warm, buoyant pop song for one of the coldest months of the year. He describes the track as:

A song of gratitude for the thankless and love for the loveless, 'Janúar' celebrates the month least loved. The month that brings 2 hours of sunlight back to Icelandic people. A song of tension and struggle, juxtapositions of midwinter melancholy and the rising hope, the utter darkness of winter and the growing of the light. Always a dance between the despair and loss and the celebration of a spring in sight. All through the song, these tensions are evident and always in conflict.

It is in the times we dread the most and when we go through the most struggles that we grow the most, and we come out on the other end better people.

The lyrics are in Icelandic by a conscious decision, in no small way fuelled by the winter vocabulary of the Icelandic language.

Svavar Knútur will be LIVE on KEXP from our Iceland Airwaves broadcast at KEX Hostel today, Friday, November 8th, at 08:30 AM PST / 04:30 PM GMT. Watch streaming video of his performance right here at KEXP.ORG. And then, catch him tonight at Kornhlaðan and tomorrow at Fríkirkjan (his official showcase with full band) as part of the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival.

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