“Pleasant Ship” by Kiriyama Family

The Icelandic group’s latest single is a lovely slice of soulful, slickly produced pop.

It’s been five years since 2017’s Waiting For…, the last album from Iceland’s Kiriyama Family. But the group hasn’t called it quits; they’ve released a handful of singles in the ensuing years, with the most recent being 2021’s “Pleasant Ship.”

Although Iceland is probably more associated with ethereal post-rock, somber modern classical, and whatever it is that Björk is doing these days, Kiriyama Family opt for soulful, slickly produced pop with a definite sense of groove and a wee touch of yacht rock.

“Pleasant Ship” immediately sets up a slinky, laidback groove that really serves as a spotlight for Hulda Kolbrúnardóttir’s gorgeous, effortless voice. But the song also throws out some delicate guitar riffs and fluttering percussion for good measure. As for the song’s lyrics — “Can we go out tonight?/A little drink and you might breath easy/Take a break from your life/We need to go out and let loose baby” and “I don’t know if you can keep my mind off all the things that make me believe that joy is out of reach” — they hit a little harder as we stand on the brink of year three of the pandemic.

Between “Pleasant Ship” and their 2020 single, “Every Time You Go,” hopefully a new Kiriyama Family full-length album will be appearing sooner rather than later.

Read more about Kiriyama Family.