Arstidir – Blik

Arstidir - Blik



4.1/5 Pros

  • Very nice musical quality
  • Very versatile blend of different genres

Indie-folk, classic sound or pop music? It is hard to categorize any mind of music into categories. Without a doubt, though, Ariistidir (or, more precise Árstíðir, meaning “Seasons”) is globally one of the most  well-known Icelandic acts. On 15th September 2023, they released their album Blik (“Look”), their eighth studio release overall. Here is a review.


Arstidir – About the Artists

Arstidir started as a trio in Reykjavik in 2008. Even though the band lineup grew to up to six members in the meantime, they are back as a trio now. The members are Gunnar Mar Jakobsson (baritone guitar), Daniel Audunsson (guitar) and Ragnar Olafsson (piano). They are also the founding members, even though they initially shared the instruments differently. Their most popular songs so far was funnily a video they recorded in Germany, in the train station of Wuppertal-Vohwinkel. They sang an old Icelandic hymn, Heyr himna smidur (“Hear Smith of Heavens”). The video has been streamed almost eight million times on YouTube only.. This winter, the Icelandic trio is touring Europe.


Arstidir – Blik – Track by Track

The eleven track album lasts 39 minutes.

1. The Wave

The surprisingly pop-ish The Wave is opening the album. The song is creating an immense atmosphere in the chorus. Overall, the song is nicely moving through different kinds of atmosphere. Very nice opener with a very present vocal performance and an almost orchestral style instrumentation.

2. Bringing back the Feel

The second song, Bringing back the Feel, is a single release as well, but comes with a very different style. The snipping-style rhythm is leading to a very groovy, laid back sound and even feels a bit of jazzy to me. Very nice work on the microphone again.

3. Later On

Later On opens with the piano, but then turns into a rather pop-alike song. The vocal parts even feel quite mainstream-alike to and could be a boy band song in a different arrangement.

4. Sanity

Sanity is very energetic. The choir-alike vocals dominate the song, which again is driven by a rather wide instrumentation. Arstidir use very different elements in their songs – my associations range from Asian musican to modern pop and classic choir music. The final blending turns the fourth track to a good listen, though.

5. Figure

Staccato strings create a rather dramatic beginning of Figure. However, the vocal part is very gentle and melodic. Thus, there is overall a rather harmonic sound. The chorus even feels a bit of kitschy.

6. A New Tomorrow

This is one is a beautiful, rather ballad-esque song with a rather straight folk music heart. I like the very melodic, gentle and warm style of this song, which is then suddenly turning into a quick, rhythmic chorus. The Icelanders are always able to deliver surprising changes in their songs.

7. Seven Years

Seven Years is another beautiful theatric and narrative track by Arstidir. The song has a lovely harmony and gentleness. The chorus is very catching as well.

8. Home Pt. 2

Over four minutes, a fragile piano melody is growing into a very powerful, energetic song. If you asked yourself about the “classic music” reference in the introduction part of this review, Home Pt. 2 is a perfect song to illustrate the motivation behind that though. The song almost feels like a short symphony.

9. Your Shadow

I’ll be a shadow following you is the main statement of the ninth song. There are a lot of different elements on the percussion side, which is a bit of calmed down by the typically rather unagitated singing style. Good one.

10. Kirin

The tenth song is another song which is moving fourth and back between rather slow and quiet and dramatic parts. The song is driven by strings, who are also majorly defining the atmosphere of the song.

11. Let’s Pretend

The chorus of the closing song comes with falsetto vocals and a strong presence of the rhythmic and groove section. With 4:25 minutes, the song is also the longest of the whole album.


Arstidir – Blik – Spotify

Here is Blik on Spotify:


Arstidir – Blik – My View

It is really very hard to define the music of Arstidir with words, put them into genre. I simply enjoyed listening to Blik, as it is so versatile, so surprising, so entertaining. And, of course, the Nordic trio is delivering a very good quality in here. Give it a try!


Arstidir – Blik Tour 2023

The Icelandic trio is doing a quite intense tour through all over Europe in late 2023:

Fr 10.11.2023 Nijmegen (Netherlands) – Stevenkerk
Sa 11.10.2023 Amsterdam – In Tolhuistuin
Su 12.11.2023 Bergen Op Zoom – Gebouw-T
Mo 13.11.2023 Oberhausen (Germany) – Zentrum Altenberg
Tu 14.11.2023 Dudelange (Luxembourg) – Opderschmelz
We 15.11.2023 Cologne (Germany) – Kulturkirche
Th 16.11.2023 Hamburg – Christianskirche
Fr 17.11.2023 Berlin – Prachtwerk
Sa 18.11.2023 Lubin (Poland) – Centrum Kultury Muza
Su 19.11.2023 Kostrzyn Nad Odra – Centrum Kultury
Mo 20.11.2023 Dresden (Germany) – Filmtheater Schauburg
Tu 21.11.2023 Lask (Poland) – Laski Dom Kultury
Th 23.11.2023 Vienna (Austria) – Theater am Spittelberg
Fr 24.11.2023 Rohrschach (Switzerland) – Industrie36
Sa 25.11.2023 Frankfurt (Germany) – Brotfabrik
Su 26.11.2023 Neunkirchen – Gebläsehalle
Sa 30.12.2023 Reykjavik (Iceland) – Frikirkjan

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