An Absolutely Haunting Rendition Of An 800-Year-Old Icelandic Hymn
If you look at cultural trends, then it seems Iceland might be gearing up for their own version of the "British Invasion" that took the music scene by storm during the 1950s and 60s. There's Bjork, Sigur Ros, FM Belfast, Of Monsters and Men (who seem to put out one hit after another) and now, Arstidir. The Icelandic group formed in 2008, but really gained attention when a video of them singing a traditional Icelandic hymn in a German train station went massively viral with over 4.3 million views and counting.
The video, taken in 2013, shows the group performing "Heyr, himna smidur," an Icelandic hymn reportedly written by former Icelandic chieftain Kolbeinn Tumason on his deathbed in 1208. The melody heard here is a little newer, however, and was written by Icelandic composer Thorkell Sigurbjornsson in the 1970s.