Music Review: Eliza Newman – Heimþrá

Eliza Newman is also known as Eliza Geirsdóttir, now solo, she had a former life as part of the Icelandic band Bellatrix, who were also known as Kolrassa krókríðandi. Bellatrix once toured with a little known band called Coldplay. Confused? You don’t need to be.

Eliza has a knack for writing neat little pop songs that Chris Martin would give his right arm for. This is the case with her latest album Heimþrá, which means ‘homesick,’ released last year.

It’s no surprise that Heimþrá, given its subject matter, is sung entirely in Icelandic. I think it is even more endearing as a result. By the way, Eliza found (another) brief window of fame after becoming the poster-girl for pronouncing Eyjafjallajökull on TV for the English speaking press on the days after the eruption.

I’ve seen Eliza live before, and she can be spellbinding with just a ukulele to accompany her. The arrangements here are a little more lush, but do not distract.

The strongest tracks here are ‘Stjörnuryk’ (“Stardust”) which bounces along and in a similar vein ‘Hver vill ást?’ The title track is a yearning, soft lullaby with gentle strings and piano. It’s lovely.

Being homesick never sounded so good. Somewhere, Chris Martin is banging his head on a piano, wishing he could be homesick too.

Originally published on Iceland Review.