Presenting Gud Jon – a leftfield musical project consisting of Icelandic native Gudjon Bodvarsson, Henry Counsell and Richard Jahn.
This December (Friday 7th) they release their debut single ‘You Remind Me’ – an enigmatic and uplifting, festive, alt-pop song featuring Gudjon’s distinctive vocals, a multi-layered ‘choir’ and rousing brass section.
Recorded in part in the legendary Studio 1 at Abbey Road, it’s not your usual Christmas song. For example, one of the components of the track is a sound Henry recorded from a preacher in a church in Ghana.
“We started writing something completely different to what the song is now. It had different lyrics and melody but we decided it was fighting what the song was truly meant to be”, says Gudjon. “In the chorus, Henry and I layered our vocals multiple times to make it sound like a full-on choir.”
“And of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas song without sleigh bells!”
Born in Iceland, Gudjon grew up in the US, Russia and Iceland before settling in the UK age twelve. Henry and Gudjon met in School the following year. After writing their first song together, a track called ‘Uniform’ they were inspired to write more and the Gudjon project was born.
“I have been in a choir since I was a boy. There is something about big, beautiful harmonies that I can’t get enough of. I currently sing with two choirs – The magnificent London Contemporary Voices and the beautiful Icelandic Choir of London, singing breath-taking Icelandic hymns.”
“I also listened to a lot of rock and hip-hop when I was younger. The first album I bought was Rammstein’s ‘Mutter’ in 2000. I remember my Dad taking me to a Rammstein concert in Reykjavik when I was 7 years old. My Dad also introduced me to hip-hop, often playing me Wu-Tang, Warren G and Snoop Dogg – I particularly remember Snoop’s album ‘Tha Last Meal’. Maybe not the right kind of music to play to a 7-year-old, but I am glad he did.”
Gudjon admits though that his biggest influence as a singer is Freddie Mercury. “His passion for music and the way he controls his high notes is unreal.”
‘You Remind Me’ is a pre-cursor to a full EP, ‘Holmgang’, which is due for release in early 2019.