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Daði Freyr review – sophisticated silliness from viral Eurovision star | Music


Daði Freyr has a question. “Who here thought we’d be six people in green jumpers doing a dance?” he asks, eliciting some cheers, a few laughs and enough shuffling of feet to suggest that some people, at least, expected precisely that. Such is the lot of the viral hitmaker.

At the height of lockdown last spring, the video for Daði’s Icelandic Eurovision entry Think About Things, released with his green jumper-clad band Gagnamagnið, blew up, its homespun choreography held aloft by TikTokkers and celebrities as a sort of Agadoo for our plague year. But with its purpose as a makeshift communal experience served, its Berlin-based creator seems keen to spit in the eye of expectation.

Flanked by a tireless percussionist, her cymbal splashes generally delivered mid-pogo, and a guitarist with disco stabs on tap, Daði toys with syrupy psych-pop, trop-house and sophisticated hooks that undercut the one-hit-wonder narrative. Standing a little under seven feet tall, clad in an enormous white T-shirt, he bounds between laptop and keyboards, barrelling through the sub-genres like a pop magpie.

Think About Things trades its somewhat cheesy recorded brass for brazen bass and a squalling synth lead, a template that also wrings added grit from the glitchy Næsta Skref. Kemur Þér Ekki Við, from his 2019 Icelandic-language LP &Co, is beefed up to Chvrches levels of melodrama, its muscular synth riff offset by an addictive countermelody.

There are also jokes. So many, in fact, that at times this is more panto than pop show. “One and a half years it took us to come here. That’s on me,” Daði quips. During 10 Years he plays a single note keyboard solo, nodding approvingly at his work.

To pull off this blend of silliness and self-parody is high-wire stuff, and Daði walks it confidently. You can only mess about if you’ve got the songs on a string; the show needs to be funny without becoming the punchline. Daði Freyr wears a few targets on his back – if Eurovision doesn’t do it for you, train your sights on TikTok fame or Christmas songs – but tonight the hits are his.

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