Arny Margret releases her debut album, they only talk about the weather, with the striking new single, "the wind was blowing" already making new fans out there.
Arny Margret has spent the last year making waves, not only in her Icelandic hometown but across Europe and the US, touring extensively, supporting Leif Vollebekk, playing Reykjavik Calling, Iceland Airwaves and more. She released her anticipated debut EP to critical acclaim in February and now she’s proudly releasing her debut album, they only talk about the weather, on One Little Independent Records.
The album is an acute emotional exploration. It’s Arny’s coming-of-age journey, from writing in school, staring out of dorm room windows, being on the road, to today. With poetic proficiency and a knack for composing melodies that bury themselves deep into the subconscious, Arny writes of loneliness and existentialism with stark relatability. There’s a quiet confidence that comes from these tracks; crystal clear in their conception, completely honest, and masterfully arranged. She walks us through her relationships growing up and her realizations about other people as well as herself. We listen as she unpacks herself to a backdrop of vividly painted natural landscapes.The album’s relationship with weather is noteworthy.
Examining her surroundings is how Arny puts to words her feelings. The sparsely populated and confined Westfjord peninsula in north-western Iceland is its own character here, and the bitter but playful snow colors her deeply personal prose across the whole LP. In this sense, they only talk about the weather can be a warming comfort to those who need it most as ice forms outside and nights fall earlier in the evening. She tells us, “I like to use the weather, in one of my songs I even make it a person, I sing 'I am blinded by the light of winter, but it comes and goes away,' I don't like her very much, you can't depend on anything she'll say."
Musically she draws inspiration from folk and blues roots, utilizing a less-is-more approach to convey openness, choosing to rely mostly on the delicate strumming of acoustics and her dulcet voice. On two tracks, "cold aired breeze" and "ties," Arny plays with a full band for the first time on record, adding layers of shuffling drums, soaring lap steel and synth padding to emphasise impact. Elsewhere on the album minor flourishes reveal themselves constantly, rewarding repeat listens. Arny’s also gained a great deal of experience in a short space, being an active touring artist for the first time. She says, “It's hard, but it’s really nice as well. I’ve learned a lot from each show, every crowd is different. I haven’t travelled much either so it’s been cool to see all these different places. With this album, I feel like I’ve gotten further. There’s so much here about the past, and some of it’s newer, so it feels a little like I’ve revisited some stuff and blended it with me right now. Going over things, wishing I’d done things differently, thinking a lot about what’s happened. But in the end, it’s brought me here.”
Arny cites influences from the likes of Andy Shauf, Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Leif Vollebekk and Gregory Alan Isakov. Born and raised in a small town called Ísafjörður, she attended music school from the age of six learning to play the piano and gradually taught herself guitar. She recorded the album at studio Hljóðriti in Hafnarfjörður and will continue to make her mark globally with her intimate and affecting live performances.