Well before she began performing under the solo moniker JFDR, Jófríður Ákadóttir had already made quite a name for herself in the Icelandic music scene. She’s been releasing music since she was a teenager and has been a mainstay in her home country’s scene ever since, in bands like Samaris and Gangly. And in the past couple years, she’s been making icily gorgeous, spacious music as JFDR.
Back in 2017, JFDR’s debut Brazil arrived. Since then, there’s been some one-off moments, including a cover of Frank Ocean’s “White Ferrari” and an EP packaged with a chocolate bar from a local Reykjavik chocolate factory. But along the way, Ákadóttir has been working on her sophomore album. Today, she shared a new song called “Taking A Part Of Me” — the first preview of that album, which is due out next year.
“Taking A Part Of Me” traces the destruction and rebirth that can come from relationships as they rise and fall. “Blessed be every wound,” she sings in the beginning, over warped background vocals, a stuttering beat, and mournful synthesizers. She continues, “Thank you for making me fragile.” It’s a sad, meditative song — as much of JFDR’s material is — with Ákadóttir’s voice sounding like a growing gale of wind, first whispering then picking up intensity.
But it doesn’t sound like an angry or hurt song, exactly. Once the song builds into the refrain of “Taking a part of me,” it inverts what you might expect, a spiteful goodbye to a former partner who’s forever robbed her of some part of her identity. Instead, she intones “Taking a part of me higher” over and over, as if locating the best parts of the past, and finding transformation through pain. “Taking A Part Of Me” comes with a video directed by Emily Avila. Check it out below.
“Taking A Part Of Me” is out now. JFDR’s sophomore album is out in 2020.