Vök are an Icelandic duo - as if you didn't already know they were from Iceland. They’re newcomers to the Icelandic music scene, taking their electronic styles and blending the beats with spacious electric guitars in the style of Romy Madley Croft - The XX. Beat maker Andri Már Enoksson plays saxophone over his simplistic percussion rhythms. The duo's first song "Before" is sung in English and features a magnificent melodic vocal from vocalist Margrét Rán Magnúsdóttir. It almost seems unacceptable to compare Magnúsdóttir's vocal to Bjork, but it genuinely does.
"Before" is an impressive debut track. It starts off with a melodramatic guitar riff and the quiet, reverberated percussion. Magnúsdóttir then opens her mouth and the girth of Iceland's musical backdrop flies out. The track slowly picks up with Enoksson's talented saxophone riff. It works with the slow tempo guitar and layered vocal. She sings: "Can you tell me why, can you tell me how, what you've told me million times before." My only criticism would be the similarities to The XX. The originality factor seems to be in doubt when the guitars sound so akin to that of Croft's.
Vök's second track, released yesterday 8 May sees the duo sing in their native Icelandic. "Ég bíð þín" translates to 'I'll wait for you’; I can only imagine the sombre vocal lyricism. Magnúsdóttir's vocal isn't as prominent in "Ég bíð þín", but it's still presentable and styled in a throat, Bjork style - a good voice.
You can really hear the ambience and Enoksson's standout saxophone playing in this track. The chorus has all the power and adventure as you would expect from The Knife. It takes the listener through an experience with deep synthesis, a fantastic sounding vocal and a respectable electronic beat, which is stark and blunt in contrast to the reverberation and mellowness of "Before". Vök seem to be going places with these two tracks. They're both outstanding, however "Before" is superior, it's the most outstanding Icelandic track I've heard in years.