Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. This week we are featuring all holiday tunes! Today’s selection comes from Iceland’s Silla & Snorri Helgason, who perform “Hvíld og ró,” the title song on a self-released Icelandic benefit album.
Unless you know Icelandic, you might not have a clue that today’s featured song is one for the holidays because the gentle melody of “Hvíld og ró” will keep you feeling warm and cozy any time of the year. Clearly, though, it’s a late night lullaby, and the title itself translates “rest and peace,” something you’d wish for a loved one on the night before Christmas. It’s also an appropriate sentiment as we approach the holiday season with mixed feelings of joy to be with our families and friends and sadness for those recently and tragically lost.
Recorded and performed by the also honey-voiced Snorri Helgason — whose western twang you’ve heard on his own songs like “Mockingbird” — “Hvíld og ró” is sung primarily by Silla in the sweet hushed tones you’ll recognize from her other projects, múm and Mr. Silla. The two are joined by Silla’s frequent bandmate Gunni Tynes (also of Hjaltalín). Together, they’ve created not only the brief moment of beauty but also a full benefit album of Christmas songs of which “Hvíld og ró” is the title track. We’ll have more details on that soon.