Mammút Bring Beauty And Grit To Their New Video


“Breathe Into Me”

There’s a whole essay waiting to be written about the word “ethereal,” and its use describing Nordic (particularly Icelandic) artists. But even though Mammút frontwoman, Katrína Kata Mogensen, possesses the kind of siren vocals capable of summoning any class of mystical character, her and bandmates', Vilborg Ása Dýradóttir, Alexandra Baldursdóttir, Arnar Pétursson, and Andri Bjartur Jakobsson, brand of rough and tumble fanaticism isn’t so easy to categorize. And now, four albums and 10 years deep into their career, it’s no longer being expressed in their native tongue.

“I wasn’t even sure if I could deliver my thoughts into English,” Mogensen confesses from a tour stop in London:

That was the challenge because I didn’t know what the outcome would be. It was totally different. I found straight away that all the music you listen to is so much in English, you’re writing into this huge pop-rock history. There are so many references. All the words are so layered. In a way, it was a challenge to make our own voice. I felt a lot of freedom. I think it’s easier to be direct in English than in Icelandic. More black and white. I’m very happy with it, and I’m very happy with the lyrics. I could deliver my thoughts. 

Kinder Versions features a dramatic sweep of music. No number of guitar pedals and percussion lines can hide the fact that the Icelandic five-piece know their way around a tuneful melody. But emotional music gut punches run deep and rocky, full of spiky guitar solos and meditations on sadness, hurt, and pain. “Taste the dirt of the water/ You know you’re never be pure,” Mogensen sings across a driving bassline line on standout track “Pray For Air.” But somehow, all the group’s anguish seems to ebb on “Breathe Me,” the album’s slow-moving, breathy centerpiece. 

“It’s light, and it’s carefree,” Mogensen confirms. “I find it quite sexual. For me, it’s very direct. It’s the moment right before you have sex with someone. It’s the mind space that comes with it. It’s the lighter side of the album. The kinder side.” 

She laughs at this subtle album name-drop. After going through the highs and lows that come along with writing an album, Mogensen is feeling good right now. Thanks to their signing with Bella Union (who will release Kinder Versions in July), they’ve been gifted with more opportunities to travel, new audiences, and—with any luck—smooth sailing. 

“I put my drama into my music,” she says. “I really don’t like it inside my life that much. But you can’t really avoid it all the time. Being an artist, it’s such a great opportunity to put your hard feelings and overloaded thoughts into your art. And then you finish them off. In your life, it’s hard to cross out things or finish them. Art really helps you to do that. To say goodbye to things, or welcome things, or figure things out. It’s really great for all the human craziness that goes on inside of everybody.”


Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.



Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.