Erased Tapes / IS
In his native Iceland, Högni Egilsson is one of the best known contemporary singers and songwriters. Importantly and interestingly, his music and performance style is equally loved by music aficionados and less serious, commercially inclined listeners.
Growing up, Högni learned to play the violin, but it was only in his late teens that hetaught himself how to play the guitar and developed an interest in performing and writing pop songs. Mastery of the piano soon followed and complemented an extended course in improvisation and the harmonies of jazz, while a long stint in his high-school choir helped train his voice. Before enrolling in composition at the Iceland Academy of the Arts at 21, Högni was already known as an extremely talented musician among his peers, and his indie pop group Hjaltalín. A chance encounter that revealed a shared interest in sailing brought Högni and President Bongo from the famed electronic group Gusgus together. By 2011 Högni was a full-time member of the band and featured prominently on Arabian Horse - by many considered Gus Gus finest album to date.
On Two Trains Högni fins himself yet another new voice. The music in Two Trains embraces the spirit of the original European avant-garde and invokes these concepts in its chugging rhythms, metallic clangs and brooding choral arrangements (men's choruses are a distinctly Icelandic phenomena related to the national/romantic politics of the 19th and 20th century) while the lyrics speak of ominous clouds on the war-ridden eastern horizon and freight cars filled with gravel and dreams.