Video Premiere: Snorri Helgason – Mockingbird

Last year, we had the great fortune to discover Icelandic singer/songwriter Snorri Helgason, whose latest album, Winter Sun, is a stunningly beautiful mix of folky melodies, retro vocal stylings and ambient textures, and features masterful production by Sindri Már Sigfússon (Seabear, Sin Fang) and contributions by other notable Icelandic musicians including Sóley Stefánsdóttir (Sóley), Guðmundur Óskar Guðmundsson (Hjaltalín), and Sigurlaug Gísladóttir (Múm, Mr. Silla). We’ve since featured Snorri in our podcasting (here), hosted him during our broadcast at Reykjavik’s KEX Hostel during Iceland Airwaves (here), and invited him back to Seattle for the Reykjavik Calling Sister City Showcase (here), featuring bands from both the northern isles and the Emerald City.

In Iceland, Snorri has also received high praise for Winter Sun, which ranked highly on many critics’ “best of” lists, and for the video for the album’s first single, “River”, directed by Máni M. Sigfússon, which has been nominated for Best Music Video by Northern Wave Film Festival, so we were particularly excited that he asked us to feature the new video for “Mockingbird,” directed by Elisa Vendramin, Claudio Gasparollo and Tim L. Schafer. We asked Snorri a few questions about how the video came to be:

Can you tell us a little about how this video came to be? How did you find this director?

I met one of the directors, Elisa Vendramin, who is Italian, in London. I was at this art opening in Soho and she came up to me and said “You’re Snorri Helgason, right?” and I was like YES beacause I’ve never been recognized on the street outside of Iceland before. But then it turns out she lives in Iceland and was working as a visual artist and had seen me play there before and liked what she saw. Then, when I came to Iceland for Airwaves, we met up and had coffee and talked. We basically just hit it off and decided to work together.

Did you have any input into the look, feel or even the art within the video? Was it a conscious decision to make it different stylistically than the video for “Rivers”?

I had made two videos before with a very talented young Icelandic guy called Máni Sigfússon and I wanted to try something diffirent for “Mockingbird.” I was very happy with Máni’s work, but I just think changing things up is always a healthy and important thing to do every once in a while. So meeting Elisa was just perfect. She was looking for something fun and weird to do and I wanted something fun and weird. I think she did a fantastic job. I love the video. It’s very fresh and the subtle little story that is going on there is very nice. I gave her a very vague descritpion of what I wanted and what she came up with is just perfect and matches the song perfectly, which is very important.

Will you be putting out any other videos for songs on Winter Sun?

I’m thinking I want to do one more video for a song off Winter Sun called “Caroline Knows.” I think it could be fun to do because in my mind it’s quite cinematic song. I might do something with “Boredom” too if I get the chance. I love making videos.

For more about Snorri Helgason, be sure to head over to his website and Facebook page.

photo by Dave Lichterman

photo by Brittney Bollay

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