Monday, October 29, 2007

Introducing... Pétur Ben

Pétur Ben writes music you can't escape. The Icelandic singer-songwriter is a trained composer who, having earned his reputation in Iceland, is now taking on the world. Playing either alone or with his band, he engages every crowd with his easy presence and confident musicality. His debut album, Wine for My Weakness, was released in August of 2006 to rave reviews and named rock album of the year at the Icelandic Music Awards. Pétur composed critically acclaimed soundtracks for two feature films and two theatre productions; and that was just in 2006.

Born in Reykjavik in 1976, Pétur has been playing and writing music since his teens. Although active in the Icelandic underground scene for years, Pétur first became known for playing with Mugison, both arranging and writing for Mugison's 2004 album, "Mugimama is this Monkeymusic?" Pétur graduated from the composition department at the Reykjavik Academy of Music in 2004, where he studied with Úlfar Ingi Haraldsson and Hróðmar Ingi Sigurbjörnsson.

The composition degree has come to good use for this indie rock artist. The music to Ragnar Bragason's "Children" and "Parents" are his first film scores and he has been involved in several theatre productions. Most notable are his score for Strindberg's "Dreamplay" directed by Benedikt Erlingsson and his arrangement for "Woyzeck" a Vesturport production with original music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Pétur has also made a name for himself for arranging music for others, for example Mugison, Slowblow, Telepathetics and many other Icelandic artists.

Pétur's debut album, entitled "Wine for My Weakness", was released by Icelandic label 12 Tónar in August of 2006 and features 11 original tracks. The aptly titled album is somewhat of a self-help manual in tackling one's own demons. The album was recorded at The Swimming Pool; the studio owned by Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós. Pétur produced the album with the trusted help of audio engineer and friend Biggi Poolboy. Sigtryggur Baldursson, formerly of the Sugarcubes, plays drums on the album and Pétur's wife, Anna Kristín Guðmundsdóttir, sings backing vocals on several of the tracks. The track White Tiger has gotten a fair amount of radio play in Iceland and was at the top of the charts for several weeks.

12 Tónar released Wine for My Weakness in Denmark where it received rave reviews. Politiken gave it five of six possible stars and as did the magazine Soundvenue. The music magazine GAFFA gave Pétur four out of six stars. In Iceland, the album was at the top of most critics' albums of the year lists, as well as receiving the Icelandic Music Award for album of the year against noteworthy competitors. Wine For My Weakness is released for European market on September 14th via Cargo Records. Highly Recommended!

Pétur Ben - White Tiger
Pétur Ben - Live Concert (video stream)
Pétur Ben @ MySpace

Check Comments for Bonus!


Blogger Ziggy said...

The Besnard Lakes - Vol. 1 (2007) !!!
+ Thom Yorke, Roxy Music, Robyn, Wale, Jay-Z, etc.

Carissa's Weird - Songs About Leaving !!!
Espers - Espers II
Elliott Smith - Roman Candle
Chroming Rose - Louis XIV

The National - White Session + Live

Flaming Lips - Live At Cirkus, Stockholm, 05.2006
Radiohead - In Rainbows

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Axi said...


3:59 PM  
Anonymous Dullz said...

I salute you for this one!! Been one of my favourit for few years now! And today, Mugison released a new album that he calls Moogieboogie!! Check it dude!;)

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog, would you mind throwing up the new West Indian Girl album when you can?

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across the band Idaho on your site and they are fantastic.

Can you find any more of their stuff?



4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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