Every year we find ourselves engaged in a fervent debate over what artist took home "Song of the Summer." Who managed to dominate the sweltering sunny season and produce the perfect soundtrack to all our cookouts, block parties and beach days? (As we all know, 2020's "Song of the Summer" was just seven minutes of prolonged screaming into a gaping void.) But where is the love for the other three seasons? Where are the fresh spring bops? The crisp fall cuts?
The latest track off his new upcoming solo album, Shiver, the Sigur Rós singer's collab with the Swedish pop icon is nothing short of a full-blown electro-pop banger. Featuring production from PC Music head, A. G. Cook, "Salt Licorice" is the most pop-leaning cut we've heard from Jónsi to date with an energetic growling ballroom house beat and bassline that sounds like it's being fired from a Gatling gun.
But it wouldn't a Jónsi and Robyn song without a healthy dose of yearning and Scandinavian ennui. Cloaked in a thick layer of distortion and vocal effects, Robyn's wispy voice and Jónsi's sinewy falsetto intermingle with one another until their parts are almost indistinguishable as the two trade lyrics like, "You taste like frost and burnished leather," and, "Your skinny waist is making me throw up," before plunging into an absolute belter of a chorus.
"'Salt Licorice' is such a cute and perfect pop song," Robyn says. "It makes me want to dance violently and make out at the same time. It was a no-brainer to say 'yes' to singing it with Jónsi. The pretty emails I get with a thousand emojis in them from him is a bonus that came with our collaboration, as well!"
As cold and unforgiving as the frozen tundra yet as warm and vulnerable as a freshly broken heart, "Salt Licorice" is sublime. Jónsi and Robyn's ability to channel their introverted commiserating into Cook's relentless instrumental is as unlikely of a match as it is completely exhilarating — a salty sweet pop confection delivered fresh from your Scandinavian faves.
Photography: Alex Somers
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