Icelandic singer-songwriter Arny Margret released her debut EP intertwined last week. Her woody, finger-picked guitars and fluttering vocals immediately sooth tense nerves upon first listen—across four tracks, including a cover of John Hartford's classic "In Tall Buildings," she inspires bursts of comfort.
Following in the folk footsteps of José González, Adrianne Lenker, and Aldous Harding, Margret's music emits the kind of warmth that welcomes vulnerability, like friends around a winter fire unlocking secrets and fears never spoken before.
She walked us through the important landscapes that inspired her on that release, and how the songs took shape instrumentally. Listen to the intertwined EP and read her track-by-track breakdown below.
I made this song while I was in Denmark. I was having unusually many dreams at the time and had a lot of time to listen to music, so I got inspired by so many things. The word “intertwined” had stuck with me for a while, and so I decided to use it. I then wrote the lyrics and forgot about them for a while. I finished the song completely when I came back to my hometown and made a demo recording. The studio recording is almost the same as the demo, but I added a bass and few harmonies. I like the song raw, I want the lyrics to speak.
This song was written in Akureyri, in the northern part of Iceland. I had never been to Akureyri before and I was visiting for a few days. The song came really quickly when I woke up the first morning, I recorded it on my phone to remember it, and there it was. ‘akureyri’ is also a very raw song. In the studio I added a bit of piano and harmonium, but again I like the lyrics to be the main part, didn’t want to overdo it.
3. "in tall buildings"
I heard a cover of this song from Gregory Alan Isakov years ago. I liked it a lot and learned to play it myself. I’ve played it almost every time I perform since then. It’s a song that is always in the back of my head—I know it by heart now, so it’s a good song to play when I don’t remember anything else. The lyrics are nice and it’s a beautiful song, I find it to fit well with the rest of the songs.
‘sometime’ is one of my favourite songs on the EP. I also wrote it in Denmark this winter. I like the line “Left my wallet on the table, hoping someone would remember me.” That line is where the song started, to feel forgotten or alone but hoping you aren’t. This song is so many things, and I hope people can connect the songs to themselves and their experiences, to find their own meaning to the songs. ‘sometime’ was recorded a bit differently. I played an electric guitar and added some synths and weird stuff. It starts a little quiet and builds up.