After releasing his debut solo album ‘Two Trains’ last month, via Erased Tapes, Icelandic artist Högni is sharing a new video for album standout track “Komdu meõ”.
Filmed in his home country of Iceland and directed by Högni Egilsson & Máni Sigfússon, Högni explains the thoughts behind the video “When approaching this video I wanted to create a counter-narrative that gave the music an alternative scope. The song speaks about the urgency of progress and development: ‘Hit the strings so they may sing and loudly resound! Pull us forward, like rocks gravel and dreams.’ Progress is, in a sense, about running away from the past. That’s what I latched on to for the video concept. It tells the story of a castaway seeking shelter as he attempts to escape the past. Crumbling and fatigued he stumbles upon a lake from which he decides to drink. Suffice to say it has its consequences.”
Amidst destruction on the mainland, the two locomotives Minør and Pionér transported wagons full of rock and gravel to the Icelandic seaside during the construction of the Reykjavík harbour in 1913-1917. The two metallic giants ushered in a new age in Iceland. However, soon after construction ceased the two trains were parked and have never driven since. Now they only serve to remind us of the grandeur of a bygone future. They are the only trains ever to have graced the Icelandic landscape.
The music in Two Trains embraces the spirit of the original European avant-garde and invokes these concepts in its chugging rhythms, metallic clangs and brooding choral arrangements (men’s choruses are a distinctly Icelandic phenomena related to the national/romantic politics of the 19th and 20th century) while the lyrics speak of ominous clouds on the war-ridden eastern horizon and freight cars filled with gravel and dreams.
As time went on, the two trains also began to bear a psychological implication to Högni and came to represent the different incarnations of his persona during a difficult period in his life. As a society we are also quite often faced with a fork in the road and a decision to make, and most importantly the acceptance of one’s self.
Today, the real Minør and Pionér are unemployed, mere relics. Minør is on display near the Reykjavík waterfront and Pionér is parked in an outdoor museum on a hill. But for Högni, with this release, the two trains have ushered in a new chapter in his own life.