OK, some of this Icelandic stuff from the 1970s is weird. I mean really, really weird. My guess is that 1975 was musically kind of strange here in the US as well, especially on the AM dial, which is where it sounds like most of the stuff on Eitthvað Sætt might have been played (had it been played in the US…). And in fact given the significant number of covers found on its dozen tracks, it’s actually quite likely that at least the originals of some of these were in fact in heavy rotation in the States.
Google Translate is an amazing tool. Sure it comes up with some super odd stuff sometimes, but usually you can get the gist of what something is about after a quick copy-and-paste. Well, I wanted to see what the hell Eitthvað Sætt was about so I endeavored to type the entire reverse jacket text into it to see what would happen. Most of it was pretty clear, like the album title translating into “Something Sweet”. But the part about one of the singers having not been heard in Iceland since their cousin swallowed his false teeth… not sure what that’s all about. Or if I even want to know.
TANGENT ALERT!!! Holy crap. Is this a cover of “Return to Sender” I’m hearing while I write this? Seriously? WTF?
Sorry about that but my mind just got blown, though this shouldn’t have come as a surprise when you consider the opening song is a cover of “Sixteen Candles.” I feel like I’m at my parent’s prom or something. Now, the song title translations of these covers don’t exactly match up with their English names. For example, Google Translate tells me that Haukar’s cover of “Return to Sender” is called “Three Tons of Sand,” and “Sixteen Candles” is “Sixteen Tyres”. Could be goofy quirks with Google, or it could be that these “covers” have different lyrics being sung in Icelandic, though a song sung in a romantic style about sixteen tires would be beyond strange. The one song title in English on the reverse, “Let’s Start Again,” is actually an original! Go figure.
So we’ve got 12 songs on Eitthvað Sætt contributed by seven different artists, including one by Hljómar, members of which seem to be involved in every single song recorded in Iceland in the 1970s until punk broke. As near as I can tell, based solely on the writing credits, eight of the tracks are covers, so this is sort of cover record of 1960s/early 1970s pop, though the styles are varied.
Then there’s the cover. Which is definitive proof that acid made it to Iceland by 1975.
The preponderance of recognizable covers certainly defines Eitthvað Sætt. You find yourself wondering if you’re going to recognize the next track, and not always sure immediately if you do or not.
I’ll leave you with the Google translation of the last sentence on the jacket reverse:
Otherwise, the album speaks for themselves, but it’s safe to say that this package contains unusually multivariate and good chocolate.