Holly and I were fortunate enough to see Vök perform live way back in April, 2014, a few months before their five-song EP Tension was released. It was the last show we ever saw at Reykjavik’s Faktorý, with Vök opening for Prins Póló and FM Belfast. And not to toot our own horns, but we both remember being quite impressed by the then duo; little did we know what great things were ahead of them.
We ended up with their 2015 EP Circles on CD, so while I was tempted to buy it on vinyl I didn’t have to resist too hard since I have a “rule” against buying something on vinyl if I already have it on another format. That is until we showed up at the “record show” (and I use those words together VERY loosely in this case…) at Nordic House the weekend of Airwaves, and I found that one table was selling nothing but sealed copies of Tension and Circles at only 2.000 ISK (about $17.50) apiece. I couldn’t pass them up at that price. Sometimes a bargain is too good.
Sonically Tension is less dense than Circle, but the the overall vibe is similar and Margrét Rán’s voice remains incredible, one of the best kept secrets in music today. The songs are Tension are a mix of English and Icelandic, which is a change in pace from their more current material which is strictly in English. While this record doesn’t have a song on it as good as “Waterfall,” truth be told most albums ever recorded don’t include a song that good, so that’s hardly a criticism. Look, you need to check them out, so go HERE and listen to what they’ve got on offer. You won’t regret it.