Nanna‘s solo debut is coming out soon, she told the NON-COMM crowd today. Like, really soon; atmidnight soon. The lead-singer, co-songwriter, and guitarist of Icelandic indie pop faves Of Monsters and Men has been teasing the record since the beginning of the year, and she shared five of its eleven tracks at today’s Free At Noon concert.
The title track “How To Start A Garden” opened on a meditative note in the spirit of fellow Icelanders Sigur Ros; keys chimed and guitars moaned softly and enchantingly, building up to a folky acoustic tune guided by brush-stick drums. Thoughts of the midday set keeping this downbeat pulse were broken by “Crybaby,” an electric guitar rocker about the conflicting feelings of being torn between pain and desire: “does it hurt you like it hurts me? I just can’t give you up,” Nanna sang fervently.
The pulsing synth-forward tune “Milk” brought the vibe back to chilled-out slow-jam territory, and “Godzilla” took it even deeper into hushed Phoebe Bridgers territory of whispered vocals and arpeggiated guitars before launching into a cathartic full-band explosion at the song’s conclusion. Nanna’s variety is her strength, as is her friendly persona. “We were supposed to play Jimmy Fallon,” she told the audience. “But this is much better.”
How To Start A Garden is out May 5th on Republic Records, and can be pre-ordered here. Check out photos from Nanna’s NON-COMM performance below.