One of my best memories of music from the eighties was the wizardry that the iconic Italian ‘Father of Disco’ Giorgio Moroder brought to his music, the euphoria that inhabited his music was often imitated but never equalled. His influence is strong in this exciting release from Icelandic newcomer Heidrunna, who brings 21st century panache and gloss to this strong debut album.
This record has musically very much an 80’s synth vibe for me, which is all beautifully pulled together by Heidrunna, a London based artist from Reykjavik. Her vocals have something of Debbie Harry but are very contemporary at the same time; the fine balance of the synthesizer and Heidrunna’s whimsical and compelling vocals is drawn to perfection to create a feel good album that retains an emotional edge.
It’s a record that will make you happy, make you feel and make you dance, surely what everyone needs after the last few years we have all endured; it’s time to party and Heidrunna’s record is the perfect tonic.
In just ten tracks, producer Liam Howe, who has worked with Lana Del Ray, MARINA, FKA twigs and Ellie Goulding before, manages to create something that sounds honest and sincere whilst remaining true to its electro pop credentials. You really could be listening to an album from the era it pays homage to, but are reminded that this is very much an album for now by the contemporary and beguiling vocals that Heidrunna has on all ten tracks.
The album contains a definite hit in the song ‘Love Don’t Come Easy’ which came to fruition in a writing session for Kylie Minogue which contrasts beautifully with the delicate and wistful heartbreak ballad ‘No Valium’. There is a Prince inspired track in ‘You Make Me Feel’ and we get to hear Heidrunna sing her native language in an homage to Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ entitled simply ‘Cindy’. We have a Summer ready anthem in ‘You Can Go Your Own Way’ and a tearful and melancholic send off with album finale ‘All Cried Out’. It’s a modern record with a nostalgic nod to the heady highs and lows of the eighties that plays like an old fashioned vinyl LP in it’s track evolution and style. I love it!
Heidrunna herself came to our attention with her debut single ‘You Make Me Feel’ last Autumn and she has continued to release singles that capture all the great things about 80’s music that has given that era such longevity. When thinking about the eighties, it’s easy to get lost in the synth driven vibes but we often forget that the reason the era is so powerful is that the songs were well crafted and if there is something that this artist has emulated perfectly in this album release, it is that aspect. The songs take in heartbreak and love, gain and loss, sentimentality and romance and move effortlessly from the indie vibe of ‘No Valium’ to the lush glamour and shine of ‘Love Don’t Come Easy’, taking in all the side roads between. Every listen rewards us with more depth as the emotion comes through the finely crafted lyrics.
Released today, this album may well cement Heidrunna as Iceland’s new pop songstress and will certainly continue to garner critical acclaim and playlist recognition from music giants Spotify, who have already included it in their editorial playlists.
Love Don’t Come Easy
Call It Melodramatic
You Can Go Your Own Way
You Make Me Feel
All Cried Out