Jun 162010

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should.

What is it about Iceland? Yes, sometimes it spews enough ash to shut down European flights for weeks. Sure, sometimes it accumulates debt that threatens the entire global economy. Everyone has their faults. The music Iceland exports seems universally fantastic though. Does Iceland simply not have any pop-punk emo kids? Where are the ear-bleeding Top 40 rappers? Does the Icelandic populace just have better taste than everyone else?

The country continues its winning streak with Ólöf Arnalds. Ms. Arnalds debuted in 2007 with – say it with me now – Við Og Við. She works closely with Sigur Rós piano/xylophone player Kjartan Sveinsson and her latest single features Björk. Icelandic musicians stick together.

Arnalds’ warbling soprano lends itself to heavenly covers. Her most recent, an acoustic version of cello player/disco pioneer Arthur Russell’s “Close My Eyes,” debuted last week. Check out that one below along with a couple other gorgeous acoustic tunes.

Ólöf Arnalds – Close My Eyes (Arthur Russell cover)

Ólöf Arnalds – That Lucky Old Sun (Smith/Gillespie cover)

Ólöf Arnalds – We’re Not the Jet Set (John Prine cover)

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Check out more Ólöf Arnalds at her website or MySpace.

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