Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Let go and just show me who you are

"Open Your Heart," Birgitta Haukdal's entry for Iceland back in the 2003 Eurovision, was--like many recent Icelandic Eurovision entries--pretty great ( describes it as an "uplifting mid-tempo ballad" and while that's exactly right, it fails to get across how completely lovely the song is--skip past the first 30 seconds of the clip above to get to her performance of it). When Birgitta decided to really properly pursue a solo career of her own (she's the lead singer of Írafár), I was fairly excited--I'd be very interested in an album of songs in the vein of "Open Your Heart." Even "Mynd Af Þér," her entry in Iceland's 2006 national final, was a not bad pop song that, even if not being a song I ever really listen to, had a style that left open the possibility of an album with songs I might like.

Sadly--for my sake, anyway--Birgitta's album ended up being a bunch of folk-poppy ballads (though I think I heard a song she did for a film once and liked that, but then haven't been able to find it anywhere since). I was disappointed, but moved on--if I could adjust to a world without an album based on "If I Had Your Love," I could live with no album based on "Open Your Heart"--even pretty much ignoring her duet in this year's national final...until I saw recently that she'd released a couple of remixes of songs from the aforementioned album. I've really been enjoying them; they've not turned the songs into big swooshy uptempo dance-pop numbers, but they've given them an enchanting electronica/dance spin which goes a long way towards freshening them up. I don't know that these remixes will be to everyone's taste, as they're a little more laid-back than much of the dance-influenced music I post (though not lounge), but I'm quite taken with them at the moment.

Ein (Remix Edit)--there's something about the deepest part of the beat here that reminds me of Madonna's "Jump," but the vocal is totally different. Birgitta's whole "earth mother" vibe that she channeled for the album artwork manages to remain present, but in a whole new form, much more (and I know this is an overused word) ethereal and intriguing. In fact, I think I could just stop writing here and let the cover of the original album and the cover of the remix single/EP do the talking.


Remixes (to be fair, I imagine this was a promo shot or inner album artwork for the original album, but not owning a physical copy of the album, I didn't see it):

There you go--that really captures the change in feel perfectly. More life, a little bit earthy, a little bit spacey, and definitely a big improvement; major credit goes out to Airport Route for suddenly reviving my interest in Birgitta--could we get remixes for all the tracks on the album? Or even just a whole new album? I'm now interested to hear their own work as well.

To buy Birgitta's EP/single The Remixes, go here (digital).

Next up: maybe something else Icelandic, or that British singer, or a singer I'm not sure how to even begin to pinpoint where they're from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These remixes are awesome, her voice really capitalises from the dance beat, hope there is more of this to come from Airport Route :)