Svavar Knútur

Svavar Knútur

 Reykjavík, Capital Region, ISL

A gifted singer and storyteller, whose stories and short monologues match his songs and performance. Every concert is a journey, a joyride, a trampoline romp. Although funny and engaging on stage, it never detracts from Svavar's meaningful lyrics and deep and lovely melodies.


Icelandic Singer-Songwriter, Svavar Knutur, has seen his star rising steadily in the past couple of years. A troubadour of humble beginnings and rural upbringing, Svavar Knutur's music tells stories of love, tragedies, sadness and redemption in a harsh and hostile climate. His songs and vocal delivery always seem to strike a chord with his audiences, along with his decadently charming on stage persona, his concerts at times comprised of stories within stories within songs within songs. An accomplished storyteller, Svavar Knutur loves to bring his audiences on a journey of misery and redemption with both comic and tragic stops on the way.

A founding member of the Melodica festival organization, a series of international grass-roots songwriter festivals, Svavar Knutur has been a driving factor in both building bridges between international songwriter communities and strengthening the bonds of local folkies.

Svavar's debut solo Album, Kvoldvaka (songs by the fire), came out in 2009 and has received great critical acclaim. Exploring the difficult journey from misery to redemption, Kvoldvaka is still a joyful celebration of triumph over adversity.

His sophomore album, Amma (songs for my grandmother), a tribute to the heritage of icelandic folk music, held the top position in the Icelandic charts for two weeks and stayed in the top ten for months. Recorded in his best friends living room in front of a room full of family and close friends, it is as intimate as an album can become.

Svavar third solo album Olduslod (way of waves) continues where Kvoldvaka left off, exploring the hazardous shores of happiness. Featuring collaborations with Czech singer/songwriter Marketa Irglova of Swell Season renown, it is a deeper and ultimately a little darker album than Kvoldvaka, even if the theme is happier.

Svavars latest album, Brot (the Breaking) presents a new and developing artist, ever seeking, ever exploring the waters of the human condition and ever improving on arrangements, orchestration and musical meandering.

His album art is a collaboration with his young daughter Dagbjort Lilja, an ever developing series of portraits of the artist.

Svavar Knutur has in the recent years toured Australia, the U.S.A., Canada, Great Britain and Europe extensively and is resolved to keep up the pace.

Svavar is also the first recipient of the Anna Palina Arnadottir memorial award for folk music excellence in Iceland. The award was in recognition for Svavar's continued exploration of new waters in modern folk music both lyrically and musically, a tireless effort to bring older folk music to young audiences and for his continuous work on helping out young and emerging artists.

A night with Svavar will bring you to hell and back, and you'll be smiling and laughing all the way. - Pete Uhlenbruch, Australian musician and music blogger.

Notable Appearances:

Eurosonic Norderslag 2016
SXSW Austin TX 2013
NXNE Toronto 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Iceland Airwaves festival Reykjavik 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Aldrei for eg sudur festival Isafjordur 2005, 2007 and 2012. 
Melodica Festival Melbourne 2010
Melodica Festival Hamburg 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Melodica Festival Reykjavik 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Melodica Festival Berlin 2011.
Melodica Festival Paris 2013.

Spot Festival Aarhus Denmark 2009 (Nordic Cowriters)
Siglufjordur international folk festival (2008, 2009 and 2012)


Astarsaga ur Fjollunum

Written By: Svavar Knútur

Ég beið eftir þér
ég beið langa stund eftir þér.
Og sól kom upp yfir snjóinn.

Og nú er ég hraun.
Ég er mosavaxið hraun.
En djúpt undir bergi slær hjartað.
Slær tröllshjartað enn.

I waited for you
I waited a long time for you.
And sun came up over the snow.

And now I am Lava.
I am moss covered Lava.
But deep under the rock beats a heart.
Beats my trollish heart still.

Emotional Anorexic

Written By: Svavar Knútur

Morning grows near, oh I wish you were here, as I toss and I turn in my bed.
I long for your touch, and I miss you so much, and the silence has torn me to shreds.

But even in longing, I still feel the pronging of misery's poisonous claws.
When in your perfection I catch my reflection and in it my numerous flaws.

Babe, don't be afraid. You know I love with all of my heart.
Please listen to me. Don't let those wicked thoughts tear us apart.

You're brave and you're strong. I am timid and wrong.
You're a diamond and I am but coal.
You're the moon and the stars, I am ashes and tar.
You're a nightingale, I am a mole.

Babe, don't think that way. These are the demons that bite at your soul.
Please listen to me. You're losing your mind and you're out of control.

Well this is my curse, and it keeps getting worse as I can't hold these bad thoughts at bay.
So I'll whine and I'll moan and I'll cry on the phone, 'till I finally drive you away.

And then I will ride with my deflated pride and the warmth of the blood in my shoe.
'Til an ugly old scar and a broken guitar will be all that reminds me of you.

Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir

Written By: Svavar Knútur

Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir,
langar mig að sýna þér
Bakpokar og gönguskór,
lítinn stað sem ég hef fundið mér.
Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir

Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir
Kræklótt liggur okkar leið,
bældur mosi, angandi lyng,
við horfum hugfangin á hrafnaþing.
Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir.


Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir
sérðu það sem ég sé?
Lækjarspræna og laufið græna,
ég færi þér mín helgu vé.
Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir
Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir, sérðu það sem ég sé?


Written By: Svavar Knutur

Oh, my darling Clementine,
how could I leave while you were sleeping?
Oh, my darling Clementine,
I couldn't bear to hear you weeping.
You tried to teach me right from wrong,
and you tried to burn off all my bad ways.
But misery's a stubborn friend, and she persists, in spite of good days.

So I sailed from your white sands
on a ship of broken plans.
And your face was on my mind,
oh my darling Clementine.

Oh, my lovely Clementine,
it's such a hell to be without you.
My soul tormented every night
and every day I think about you.

I adored your foolish charm,
I never meant to do you harm.
And your pain is on my mind,
oh my darling Clementine.

Oh, my precious Clementine,
I never dared to look behind me.
All this time I ran and ran,
and I ran aground, and I pray you'll find me.

And with all the bad I've done,
I realize that you're the one,
and I hope you'll still be mine,
Oh my darling clementine.

Ease your mind

Written By: Svavar Knutur

He left you by the dusty roadside
and all he gave you was a short kiss goodbye.
Your little heart almost burst into tears
when he turned and went on his way.

You could have had just five minutes more
but what the hell was he running for?
But all your sorrows and all your fears
will soon get swept away.

So ease your mind little girl, little girl,
just ease your mind little girl.
Ease your mind little girl, little girl,
It will all be fine if you ease your mind.

You left her by the dusty roadside
you could have given her a better goodbye you know, but
overcome by shyness and insecurities
you just turned and went on your way.

You walked that road and you hitched a ride
“that beautiful girl will never be mine,” you thought, but
all your troubles and all your tears
will soon get swept away.

So, ease your mind little boy, little boy,
just ease your mind little boy.
Just, ease your mind little boy, little boy,
It will all be fine if you ease your mind.

'Cause you both know it in your hearts,
that your souls were meant to meet.
So just, take it easy, it'll all be fine,
let go of your worries and shine.

Ease your minds little ones, little ones.
It will all be fine, if you ease your minds.

While the world burns

Written By: Svavar Knutur

Some people say the end is near,
and some say that it's already here.
But I won't feel the slightest fear
if my arms are full of you.

Maybe we will suffocate
on poison fumes and clouds of hate.
But I won't care about my fate
if my arms are full of you.

I just want to hold you while the world burns.
I just want to hold you while the world burns.
Let it burn burn burn.

Crushed by the oceans mighty waves
or ripped apart by robotic slaves.
Well I won't mind those crowded graves
if my arms are full of you.
Burned alive by bitter ash,
or a supernova's blinding flash.
But I won't mind that biting lash if my arms are full of you.

I just want to hold you while the world burns.
I just want to hold you while the world burns.
I just want to hold you while the world burns.
Let it burn burn burn.
Let it burn burn burn.

The Roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.
The Roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.
The Roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.

I just want to hold you while the world burns.
I just want to hold you while the world burns.
I just want to hold you while the world burns.
Let it burn burn burn.
Let it burn burn burn.
Let it burn burn burn.

Baby would you marry me

Written By: Svavar Knútur

Out in the forest
under a tree,
lies a dream that you once told to me.
Out in the desert,
under a stone, lies a poem, that you once wrote to me...

And baby would you marry me?
Under an apple tree or the bottom of the sea?
Or maybe on a train to Spain or some nice place like that?

Baby would you marry me?
on a mountain top or a traffic stop
or maybe on a boat that floats into the great unknown?
That would be a day to remember our love by.
Out in the ocean,
under a fish, lies a kiss that you once blew to me.
And up in the sky,
under a shroud made of clouds is all you mean to me.


Brot (The Breaking) - 2015
Olduslod (Way of waves)
 - 2012
Amma (Songs for my grandmother) - 2010
Kvoldvaka (Songs by the fire) - 2009