Sprengjuhollin
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Sprengjuhollin

Reykjavík, Capital Region, Iceland

Reykjavík, Capital Region, Iceland
Band Alternative Pop

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Sprengjuhollin's debut, Tímarnir okkar (a version of which was released via eMusic Selects) was a runaway success in their native Iceland, topping the charts and making them the go-to band for forward-thinking Reyksters and their parents alike. It's no great mystery why: crammed with spry, vibrant mod songs, Tímarnir okkar yielded maximum payoff for minimal effort, the very definition of a perfect pop album. The band ended up with a string of sold-out shows and live appearances on Icelandic television within months of the record's release.

Following up that kind of instant heartwarmer is a trick, though, and any band that attempts it risks either repetition or alienation. Fortunately, Sprengjuhollin have fallen prey to neither. Bestu Kveðjur is the moment the groups goes from Kinks Kontroversy to Village Green Preservation Society. It's a sprawling, ambitious record, one where a full string section and gang-chorus show up halfway through the first song, and where embellishment becomes the very soul of wit. Bestu Kveðjur succeeds more because it's greedier: its songs reference everything from bar blues to city disco, and there is a kind of grandeur and stateliness to the music here that was largely absent from its predecessor. Not that Sprengjuhollin have gone highfalutin — the songs are still built around sturdy hooks and singable choruses — it's just that they're more elaborate. "Vegurinn" draws power from soaring, symphonic strings, "Reykjafjarðarmein" is built around a burbling calliope and closing lullaby "Á Meðan Vatnið Velgist" rolls out on a bed of booming timpanis.

Those looking for the instant sugar rush of songs like "Glúmur" are likely to be initially flummoxed. But with each go round, Bestu Kveðjur reveals itself to be deeper and fuller and, ultimately, more rewarding than its predecessor. It's the rare sequel that improves on the original, the next giant step from a band bursting with promise.

J. Edward Keyes - eMusic


5 stars (out of 5)
Sprengjuhöllin is the most talked about band in the country today. Their songs are the most popular and their debut album Tímarnir okkar is the most sold. As that wasn’t enough, the album is also good. Good? It’s great. Tímarnir okkar is the record that Icelandic pop musi has been waiting for. Some people are just winners.

All songs good

Songs like “Síðasta bloggfærsla ljóshærða drengsins”, “Glúmur”, “Þá hlupu hestar á skeið”, “Verum í samandi” and... Oh, fuck it. All of the songs make a point. Sprengjuhöllin arranges, writes lyrics and plays lyrics in a unique professional fashion. Every knot is carefully tied. The songs are simple, catchy and entertaining. The energetic songs are danceable and the ballads are bittersweet and beautiful. String and brass arrangements have a prominent supporting role and are, like everything else, put forward in a very tasteful manner.

Sold their souls?

The band covers a lot of ground and it’s almost suspicios how few bumps they encounter. Upon listening to Tímarnir okkar I suspected the group’s members of selling their souls to the devil. I mean, who are these guys and where did they come from?
The lyrics on Tímarnir okkar could make for a full article themselves, that’s how great they are. The lyrics are at once critical and witty. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, and sometimes uncomfortably true. Ironical modern poetry which will end up documenting the year 2007.
Tímarnir okkar is a great record. If you plan on buying one album this year and haven’t yet, buy Tímarnir okkar. And if you haven’t given your mother a birthday present yet, give her Tímarnir okkar because Sprengjuhöllin is your new favourite band and your mother’s too.

- Atli Fannar Bjarkason (24 stundir, 11/03/07).

- 24 stundir


93%
The first time I sat down to listen to Tímarnir okkar by Sprengjuhöllin I had to shut the CD player off and take a long pause several times. Not because it sucked so bad, but becase in a way there was too much going on on it which spoke to me; it was in a way too true – it corresponds too well to modernity.
I’ll say it right away: Tímarnir okkar is the most important Icelandic record to be released this year, and even for a few years. It hits the spot of a certain generation’s way of thinking, or a certain group of a certain generation. A clever analysis of an ongoing situation which is hard to pinpoint but touches all of us, colours all our communation and sculpts our thoughts. Lyrics and what seems to be the underlying ideology of singer Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson have most to with this. Bergur is a good poet and clever social critic. If he is the Hallgrímur Helgason [Icelandic author, best known for 101 Reykjavík] of Icelandic pop (both ironic and sarcastic, direct, sharp and a tad bitter) then Tímarnir okkar is his Rokland [H.H’s book from 2005]. The main difference is that while Rokland can be read as a condemnation of modern Icelandic society from the above and outside of it, then Bergur and Sprengjuhöllin are proud to be a part of it. A band that embraces it and wants to beat the system from the inside and make some money while at it.
The satire-side of the record is best brought forward in the song “Síðasta bloggfærsla ljóshærða drengsins”. It is a harsh condemnation of a generation which is devoid of virtues and ideals. A generation which realizes Nietzsche’s “Last Man”, who had thrown his belief in God away but was not sure what to do with freedom. The song is also the best one on the record and Bergur’s performance is quite magnificent.
Then we have moments that are directed inwards and add to the record’s internal struggle. Moments like “let’s not take things too seriously, have another beer and dance even though wo don’t know how”. The song “Taktlaus” can be mentioned in this context, but that is like the inverted version of “Síðasta bloggfærsla...” but nearly just as good. These moments create a good antidote to the close-ups of the satirical songs, bring life to the record and make it safer for parties. More personal songs such as “Frá gleymdu vori” and “Hamingja” make the record more lifelike.
The music is no rubbish, although the ballads are not as strong as the party-tracks. The albums title track has to compensate for its very timeliness as it contains numerous allusions to contemporary phenomenoms already past their best before date.
This raises questions on whether Tímarnir okkar will retain its charm into the future. I consider it unlikely as its charm lies in its conversation with OUR times. But that does it no injustice, we do live in the now and that is why Tímarnir okkar will receive all the praise it deserves.

-Haukur S. Magnússon (Monitor, issue 2, 2007).

- Monitor


5 stars (out of 5)
I never expected the first record by Sprengjuhöllin to be so good, or should I say great! This is a fresh record which contains twelve songs, each better than the next, and your headphones will surely be glued to your ears. But let’s start at the beginning.
First when I heard the energetic boys of Sprengjuhöllin perform live I was not impressed and unsure what they were trying to do. They apparently had plenty of ideas but a loss of direction was their strongest symptom. My attitude towards them grew a bit more positive when I heard their first hit “Tímarnir okkar” for the 20th time. But slowly Sprengjuhöllin started to make sense and after hearing the aforementioned hit over and over again I was convinced the song was good, the group alright and that I wanted more.
The time has come and Sprengjuhöllin have released more. They are not just alright but at the top of their game. This is no secret upon hearing Tímarnir okkar and I’m thrilled because few Icelandic bands have surprised me like this in the last few years. What makes Sprengjuhöllin such a great band today is a fresh sound based on a solid foundation. The group is truly Icelandic andhappy about it. The sound is cool, warm, energetic and at times old fashioned. The nearest example is Spilverk þjóðanna [Icelandic 70s group] but not just because Sprengjuhöllin makes great pop music, but because of how they analyze Icelandic society in entertaining and catchy lyrics. Síðan skein sól and Ný dönsk [Icelandic 80s groups] also surface when looking for analogies (as they are great pop groups) as does the Scottish indie-rock act Belle & Sebastian. I want to emphasize that Sprengjuhöllin is never uncomfortably close to the artists which you can relate the group to, these boys have found their own sound.
It’s unnecessary to single a song out from this record as they are all good and some have already become major hits. Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson and Snorri Helgason write most of them with the exception of Atli Bollason’s song “Hamingja”, but based on that it’s safe to request more songs from him in the future. Strong melodies, great singing and harmonies reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tie the songs together; all instrumentation is good but I must mention drummer Sigurður Tómas Guðmundsson’s star performance, as he’s exact and tasteful in every way. Tímarnir okkar is a thought out album and creates the right atmosphere the whole way through, especially in regards to sound, and reflects better than many a Iceland band the times we live in (in a positive way). Sprengjuhöllin’s way of thinking belongs in the now. When darkness, corruption, rotten cliques and rotten weather are a large portion of our being it is a lucky strike to acquire such a good and fresh artifact as Tímarnir okkar.

- Jóhann Ágúst Jóhannsson (Morgunblaðið, 10/24/07).

- Morgunblaðið


4 stars (out of 5)
The success of Sprengjuhöllin has been adventurous. The group made their stage debut in April of 2006 and all their singles so far – “Tímarnir okkar,” “Verum í sambandi” [Worry Till Spring] and “Glúmur” – have reached the top of the Icelandic charts. In the few months that have passed since the band recorded their first song the five boys have managed to create such anticipation for their first records that I can hardly recall anything like it.
The music on Tímarnir okkar is not revolutionary. This is melodic pop, well played and quite varied in style and structure. Sprengjuhöllin is apparently under the influence of different pop styles and eras. Many bands cross my mind, The Beatles, indie-pop bands such as Belle & Sebastian, Roxy Music (“Síðasta bloggfærsla ljóshærða drengsins” sounds like a take on “Virginia Plain”), and Stuðmenn, Spilverk þjóðanna, Fræbbblarnir [Icelandic groups from the 70s and 80s]. The list could be much longer.
The album is loaded with hits and there are plenty left to top the charts. The instruments are well played. All members do a good job and the added instruments (strings, brass) make a good impression. I’m most impressed by the drumming of Sigurður and the keyboards of Atli. Both are innovative and provide great moments that make the songs stand out.
What makes Sprengjuhöllin so irrisistible is first and foremost the singing (all of the boys sing and harmonize) and the lyrics. Finally we see a group with musical ambitions and good lyrics in Icelandic. This hasn’t been a pair for a while. There’s nothing wrong with singing in English, but when you listen to the lyrics to “Síðasta bloggfærsla ljóshærða drengins”, “Glúmur”, “Þá hlupu hestar á skeið” and “Verum í sambandi” you realize how one missed hearing well written Icelandic lyrics.
Like I said before the anticipation for Tímarnir okkar is great. Sprengjuhöllin meets all the expectations and live up to their claims. Tímarnir okkar is the most entertaining Icelandic pop record for years and one most hope it brings a new era for Icelandic pop music.

- Trausti Júlísson (Fréttablaðið, 10/10/07).

- Fréttablaðið


(No rating)
The clichéd but irresistible question of influence has been answered in the simplest of terms on Sprengjuhöllin’s debut release, “Tímarnir okkar.” Possibly the most blatantly culturally Icelandic pop record to come out in recent music memory, this album encompasses, slyly and with ironic flair, the idiosyncratic perspective of Iceland’s Gen Y on this, its cultural era. Much like the title track, the album is an exercise in contemporary communication, expression that is sometimes clumsy yet delightfully un-claustrophobic, dripping with the nature of modern-day life in Iceland. With a kind of cocky buoyancy that is both endearing and slightly annoying, Sprengjuhöllin maintains the elusively charming balance between appreciation of the absurd and the sentimental elements of the culture they are consumed by. Their songs are self-deprecating social commentary, so emotively close-to-home that their charm will for the most part be untranslatable. The distinct unabashedness at the heart of this album is, like our wasted generation, as fresh and fascinating as it is consequential.

-VÞ (Reykjavík Grapevine, issue 16, 2007)

- The Reykjavík Grapevine


I didn't get to see this band, but it felt like I did. Their song "Worry 'til Spring" was inescapable, a beautiful heartbroken little song about an unrequited crush that seemed to follow me wherever I went. I cannot recommend this song highly enough — as in, stop whatever you're doing and listen to it now. The band's full length CD is in Icelandic, but I'm convinced if they recorded an English-language version they could be huge here.

- J. Edward Keyes - emusic.com


The mod pop of the late '60s — Small Faces, Kinks, etc — fathers Sprengjuhöllin, its orchestrations, its openly emotive moods and somewhat fey inclinations towards grandeur all representative of the naiveté and boldness of youth. But just because mod fathered Sprengjuhöllin doesn't make it their destiny. Instead, the deeper you get, the more diffuse their sound becomes: hints of Super Furry Animals and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and other particularly European, skewed-pop bands shade the hues of these ten exceptional songs the wistful, fading yellow of a cherished photograph.

Assuming that, unlike Sprengjuhöllin, you are not from Reykjavik, there is a sizeable language barrier here. All but one of the songs is sung in Icelandic — the language does not share many cognates with English, lemme assure you — and so the normal, lyrical entryway is impeded, requiring us to connect much more on a musical level than a narrative one. (Fortunately we talked with two members of the band who explained to us what each of these songs is about, and you can find that information here. And you should read it, as their tales are amazing.)

The one English-language song, "Worry 'Til Spring," is an absolute marvel. It begins with a modest acoustic guitar and a hushed, brogue-ish tenor lamenting, "I've known her since June/ But she's always immune/ To every smile that I give her." And then, out of nowhere, comes a triumphant chorus: a French horn, some drums and a voice transformed from timid to bold, the impotent self-questioning now a declaration that even if the result is self-defeating, he will at least act: "I just want you to know/ That one day I'll let go/ And you can worry 'til spring/ And then I'll vanish." Any budding relationships should make this their theme song right now.

Elsewhere, Sprengjuhöllin vacillate between fuzzy rock and stark balladry — and they handle both with confident ease. "Keyrum Yfir Ísland" is the big rock number (phasers phasing, strummers strumming, geese a'laying); "Taktlaus" is the shiny, Jam-like punk tune; "Flogin Er Finka" is moving, piano-based Coldplay moroseness; and "Nú Er Tíminn" could have easily appeared on an early album from the Kinks or the Action — good, head-shaking '60s rock. And then there's "Sumar í Múla," in which the band consciously plays through the history of pop music from the '60s to today, incorporating Motown, disco, synth pop, Brit pop and much more into an awesomely goofy, awesomely awesome tune.

There's always a danger with foreign language albums to fetishize, to respond more to the otherness than the content itself. But with Sprengjuhöllin, this is absolutely not the case. These five dudes from Iceland make exceptional guitar pop, and we couldn't be prouder to present these ten songs to you. Dig in.

Yancey Strickler - eMusic.com


Mad, mod and bursting with energy, Icelandic quintet Sprengjuhöllin outfit big melodies with blaring brass and bounding guitars, making songs that transcend language and geography. A distant, foreign cousin to '60s groups like the Action and the Kinks, Sprengjuhöllin write the kind of pop songs that seem at once both novel and familiar.

But the music is just the half of it; Sprengjuhöllin's songs are like novellas, with misbegotten characters stumbling dumbly around empty ideologies and taking long trips with no destination in mind. In order to appreciate all aspects of Sprengjuhöllin's songwriting, eMusic spoke to dual frontmen Snorri Helgason and Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson and asked them to explain what each of their songs are about. Those explanations — along with a few perilous personal misadventures — are below.

On what, exactly, 'Sprengjuhöllin' means:
Snorri Helgason (guitars): Sprengjuhöllin directly translates as "Palace of Explosions." It's not a real word in Icelandic or anything. To us, it means something that's big and stable — like a palace — but is also really destructive and unstable — like a bomb. There's a contrast in that word that we like. The thing with our band is that each member is from a really different musical background, so we have this chemistry going where everyone brings something from their world to the table. We find a middle ground, and that's the final product.

On the dangers of playing Icelandic television:
Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson (vocals, guitars): We got contacted by the biggest television station in Iceland. They were going to broadcast us live, playing a new song, in front of the biggest swimming pool in all of Iceland. This was in the beginning of August, and it also happened to be the warmest day recorded in all of Reykjavik — it was 25.5 degrees Celsius (about 80 degrees Fahrenheit). All the girls were running around in bikinis, everything was just going so well, so we decided that we were going to be such winners that, when the song was over, we were going to jump in the pool with the girls with our clothes on, and that would be the end of the television show — it was a live broadcast.

Well, as soon as the song ended, Georg, our bass player, just sort of panicked. We were supposed to hold hands and jump into the pool in a coordinated fashion, but he just ran out ahead of us, crashed into a bunch of children, and then hit his foot on this metal plate that said "No Diving." When he hit the water, we just saw blood everywhere. He started yelling "Aaaagghhh! This is horrible! This is horrible!" His toe didn't quite fall off, but they had to give him like 15 stitches. It looked like a slaughterhouse when he got out. Then, after all of that, the producer of the show came over to us and said, "Um, you know what, guys? Don't kill me, but the broadcast was a total failure. We didn't get anything."

On why New York isn't much safer:
Bergur: We were invited to play two music festivals in Canada, one in Winnipeg and one in Vancouver. We thought that it was a relatively long flight for just two gigs, so we used some contacts in New York to put ourselves on the bill with another Icelandic band, FM Belfast.

Snorri: It was my first time in New York City. It was great to see and to talk to New Yorkers. I loved talking to cab drivers with funny accents. Our first night in NYC, we were really jetlagged but really excited.

Bergur: There was suddenly just an air raid of eggs. Some guys throwing eggs from a five-story window. I guess this is just how people from New York welcome tourists?

Snorri: So me and Bergur started laughing really hard, but the other guys in the band didn’t find it that funny. Our drummer went out to the street to look up at the building to see if he could see lights, or some asshole laughing in the window or something like that, when a garbage truck came by and the driver screamed, "Get out of the street, you morons!"

Bergur: The thing is, we liked it — we were willing to pay for an experience like that.

The songs: What They Mean, Where They Came From
Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson

"Glùmur"
Glùmur is a Christian name. It pretty much means how it sounds — it's someone who's gloomy, someone who's mysterious and dark. He's the protagonist of the song, and he's sort of like a bum. The person who's singing meets Glùmur in a park — where, you know, bums hang out — just sitting on a bench. Glùmur starts talking about his life: he's been everywhere, he's had all kinds of jobs, he's been involved in a lot of interesting stuff that happened in Icelandic history in the 20th century. He's like a Forrest Gump type person, who's squeezed himself into a lot of situations. Today, he's a total loser, but he doesn't have any regrets. He's just a fun bum who's done a lot of things and has a lot of children everywhere.

If you listen to "Glùmur," you get the perspective that he's misunderstanding everything. He thinks he's still great. This bum thing, it shows up a lot in literature — how bums and tramps are always so optimistic. They don't own anything, so they don’t have anything to lose. I had an uncle; he was either at the top of society or the bottom. As soon as he had anything — a good job, his family was stable, a great car — he started drinking again and lost it all in a few months. So then he'd start up again.

"Keyrum Yfir Ísland"
The title literally means "Driving Over Iceland." We talk about places in Iceland that people know about, and people have the experience of doing a road trip around Iceland. Road trips in Iceland are kind of unique. We have very bad roads to begin with. We sometimes have really bad weather. In the summertime we have 24 hours of daylight and people just go mad — they don't want to fall asleep at all. So this song is about a guy who goes on one of these road trips and goes completely mad. He ends up in the mountains in the wilderness and he doesn't want to go home unless someone goes down and collects him. He's just going to stay there. He's going to become a mountaineer.

"Síðasta Bloggfærsla Ljóshærð Drengsins"
This song is basically a manifesto that goes wrong. It's about a guy who claims, in the song, that he's completely independent. He's not dependent on anything, including religious concepts, like God. It's a very typical thing for young people to read about all kinds of revolutions around the world, and to just get caught up in that. When people really dive into this kind of stuff, if you claim you're independent from everything, you just lose your mind. There's nothing to live for if you're independent from everything. You have to be attached to things.

This guy has a little doubt. He admits sometimes that he misses God. What happens is that he out-thinks himself; he is so completely independent that he's become dependent on his own ideology. This guy in the song, he's always criticizing, but in the end, he's nothing without this bullshit he's stuffed his head up with. Eventually, he goes insane because he out-thinks himself. He starts to think that he's independent of himself. And if he's independent of himself, then he doesn't really exist. In the next stanza, he floats into a mythological place — it's this beach from Norse mythology — where the people go after they die. So he's on the beach, and he's physically OK, and he wants to talk about his experience, but he can't — he doesn't have a mouth. None of the people on the beach have mouths. They got it taken away because they wasted too many words on bullshit. The title of the song means "The Blond Boy's Last Blog Entry."

"Sumar í Múla"
"Sumar í Múla" means literally "Summer in a Promontory". "Múla" is a common place name in Iceland — it could be just about anywhere. It is also the suffix of a few street names in the commercial sector of Reykjavík, which contains office buildings and, in general, very boring establishments.

That said, the song's name and meaning is supposed to be a little bit of a riddle. The protagonist is stuck inside a promontory — meaning either he is stuck inside a projecting mountain or stuck inside an urban office building. It's summertime, and he thinks he's missing out on a lot of stuff. But he thinks too much, since he has the typical modern day "thinking-sickness." The protagonist feels that he's missing out on the summer because he's locked inside an office all day long, but he what he thinks he is missing out on is some Jane-Austenish 19th-century drama sensation — couples kissing each other under trees in the meadow or floating down streams on rafts, listening to Rimbaud deliver poems. The song lyrics cite various influences from 20th century Icelandic poetry, and even directly some direct lines.

"Nú er tíminn"
"Nú er tíminn" means "Now is the time." I have a typical "carpe diem" message. It's a call for our generation to establish itself with a name and meaning and stop listening to what the old folks say about the importance in life. The guy in the song says he knows nothing about agriculture or wool and just wants to eat his sushi, be easily persuaded and have fun. It is sometimes fun just to go with the flow and let go of hard and difficult ideologies.

Snorri Helgason
"Worry 'til Spring"
I was thinking about Mississippi John Hurt — do you know him? He's got this weird finger-picking style that a lot of times copies the melodies of his songs. So I was thinking about that, and about the song "Blackbird" by the Beatles, and that kind of inspired me to try that method out. I was trying to figure out Mississippi John Hurt's version of "Stagger Lee," and I kind of stumbled upon this melody. I just worked my way along on that. I was working at a kindergarten at the time I wrote this, and during the lunch breaks when the kids just finished eating, we’d go into this little room and play children's songs. One day I started playing songs that I'd been writing and I played that song to them and they really liked it. I used to do that a lot when I was working there.

"Þá Hlupu Hestar A Skeið"
This song was first written in English, it was called "All the Horses Are Gone." This was one of the first songs that Bergur wrote and presented to us. It's an expression in Icelandic folklore — these old tribes and families that lived here in Iceland in the old days, the song is a description of a battle between the two of them, and then it becomes a trip through Icelandic history.

"Frá Gleymdu Vori"
That's really just a typical love song — a lost love. The singer is describing a romance that's ended, and he's comparing it to a rainy day in spring.

"Taktlaus"
This one is about this guy — and there are a lot of these guys around — that just do not want to dance at shows. They think they are too cool to dance. They just hang out at the bar and get drunk and then maybe sway around in a semi-violent manner and spill beer everywhere. It's a really short song, and a short lyric about that. It's about being afraid to dance and hiding it behind some kind of coolness. They kind of envy and hate the people that are dancing.

"Flogin Er Finka"
Actually, the direct translation of the title of this song is "This Bird Has Flown." It's about a girl that's left, just like the girl in the Beatles song. It's about being alone on a winter afternoon. You go out, your car door is frozen shut, you can't turn the key. All in all, it's just a gloomy winter's day. - Emusic.com


Discography

ALBUMS
Timarnir okkar CD/2LP/mp3. Released by Sena on 10 October 2007. 12 tracks.
Bestu kvedjur CD/mp3. Released by Sena on 7. November 2008. 15 tracks.

SINGLES
"Timarnir okkar" CDS/mp3. Self-released in November 2006.
"Verum i sambandi" CDS/mp3. Self-released in April 2007. 11 weeks at #1 in the Icelandic single chart.
"Hiti" CDS/mp3. Self-released in April 2007.
"Glumur" CDS/mp3. Released by Sena in August 2007. 7 weeks at #1 in the Icelandic single chart.
"Keyrum yfir Island" CDS/mp3. Released by Sena in November 2007. 9 weeks at #1 in Icelandic single chart.
"Flo a skinni" CDS/mp3. Released by L.A. in January 2008.
"Sumar i Mula" CDS/mp3. Released by Sena in July 2008.
"Byrjum upp a nytt (Bestu kvedjur)" CDS/mp3. Released by Sena in October 2008.

Multiple tracks available for streaming at myspace.com/sprengjuhollin

Photos

Bio

Sprengjuhollin is an Icelandic pop group from the nation's capital Reykjavik. The band, now with two albums under its belt, was founded in 2005 but broke out in 2007 with the release of three consecutive singles that all went to the top of Iceland's harmonized radio play chart based on airplay from all music radio stations in the country and held the top place for a total of 27 weeks in 2007.

The success was immediately followed by the LP 'Timarnir okkar' that sold 7.300 copies in three months making it one of the most sold records of the year in a country of 300.000 inhabitants. It was produced by Valgeir Sigurdsson (Bjork, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, mum, CocoRosie). The record also garnered much praise from critics upon release and featured prominently at all local publications' end-of-year lists. At the 2007 Icelandic music awards Sprengjuhollin received five nominations; for best album, best song, best songwriter, best lyricist and best use of internet tools.

In 2008 the bunch revisited Sigurdsson's studio and recorded and released the ambitous 'Bestu kveðjur' which has already gained widespread attention and nearly went gold in its first six weeks of release.

Sprengjuhollin's success in its native Iceland can be viewed objectively by the broadness of its fanbase that covers art school hipsters, mechanics, housewives, convicts and politicians. The band's songs are played on all radio stations ranging from alternative counter-culture stations to stream-lined easy listening-radio venues. Sprengjuhollin's sound shall therefore be described as popular music in its widest sense: music seeking influence from rock and pop pillars such as The Velvet Underground, Supergrass, Blur, Bob Dylan, The Kinks, The Zombies, The Stone Roses and Belle & Sebastian; soul artists such as Martha and the Vandellas, as well as more recent sounds such as The Strokes. Every note is delivered with the honesty needed to capture the attention of almost everybody.