Júníus Meyvant Spins a Cool Soundtrack to Beat the Heat

The Icelandic musician blends smooth sounds with blues tunes on his playlist, which features tracks from The Bee Gees, B.B. King, and more.

Photo Credit: Sigridur Unnur Ludviksdottir

Iceland’s own Júníus Meyvant won his home country’s equivalent of a Grammy for “Song of the Year,” and he’s making an international name for himself with soulful folk-pop that’s both emotive and uplifting. His debut album, “Floating Harmonies” just came out. Below he spins a few tunes for your next get easy-going together.


The Bee Gees — “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)”

I’ve been, lately, been listening to a lot of Bee Gee’s. So the first song I would play in my party is “Fanny Be Tender.”

[My family and I] used to take long drives around Iceland. My daddy had a lot of CD’s in his car, so I think he introduced me to Bee Gee’s. I thought it was a little bit strange music at first, but when you hear how the brothers’ voices come together, it’s like a one perfect disco voice. It’s the smoothest dancing song I’ve ever heard.

I would climb on the smallest table and that table would break and the music would stop for a second. But, the greatest thing about music is the silence between the music, you know? Then you learn to appreciate what comes next.

Howlin’ Wolf — “Back Door Man”

The second song I would play is “Back Door Man” by Howlin’ Wolf.

It’s beginning of Chicago blues. And his voice is like… if you would distort a trash can. It’s like if a Transformer would swallow a trash can and start to sing.

I thought his guitar was really small, but it’s a big guitar, you know? But on the picture, it looks like a ukulele because he has these huge hands. Like a baseball glove with skin over it.

And, you know, if you listen to Iggy Pop, Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, you can hear Howlin’ Wolf in them. He’s as rough as you can get. He’s in your face. And he’s not going to knock on your door, he’s going to kick it down.

B.B. King — “How Blue Can You Get”

Track number three would be “How Blue Can You Get” by B. B. King. “Live in Cook County Jail.”

For two minutes there’s no singing, it’s just B. B. playing his guitar. And I think it’s one of the best guitar solos ever recorded. Period. Because it’s just his guitar, no effects. Just true emotions. And this guitar solo always makes me stand up and scream [laughs]. Every time it gets me.

In the song it tells her about, you know, “I gave you a brand new Ford,” but then the woman said, “I want a Cadillac.” You know, “I brought you in my penthouse, and you said it was just a shack.” It’s a funny lyric.

I’ve been married for 11 years now, so, I am in a good relationship. I have two kids. So, maybe that’s why I find it interesting. Because it’s not my burden to bare, this kind of song.

Júníus Meyvant – “Be A Man”

I’m truly sorry people, but, I had to pick one song by myself, Júníus Meyvant, and the track I would choose is “Be A Man.”

That song is an instrumental song and it’s about, you know, not like [lowers voice], “Be a man!” It’s about being a man, a true man, a man who apologizes, a man who helps, a man who loves his neighbor, a man who makes a fool of himself at the party and doesn’t care.