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Ólafur Arnalds (born 3 November 1986) is a BAFTA winning multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from ambient/electronic to pop. Ólafur was a drummer of hardcore/metal bands Fighting Shit and Celestine, as well as others.

Ólafur's cousin Ólöf Arnalds is also a well known singer/songwriter.


Early career (2004-2007)

In 2004, Ólafur composed and recorded the intro and two outros for tracks on the album Antigone by German metal band Heaven Shall Burn. On his Facebook page he described how he got to know them: "I was playing drums in a hardcore band and we were supporting the german metal band Heaven Shall Burn on their Icelandic tour. Being a huge fan, I gave them a demo with some very overly dramatic prog-rock songs I had been making at home - it was not so classic like this but had some badly computerized strings and piano in it. A few months later they contacted me asked if I would write some intros and outros for their new album, but only with the piano/strings elements - So I wrote my first classical pieces (incl the one i posted above). Their album was a big success in Europe and a few months later I got a phone call from a label asking 'would you be interested in making a full album with compositions like this?' I hadn't really considered continuing writing music like this, but said yes."

Eulogy For Evolution and Variations of Static (2007-2008)

On 12 October 2007, Ólafur's first solo album Eulogy for Evolution was released. It was followed by the EP Variations of Static in 2008. In the same year, Ólafur toured with Sigur Rós. He is also reported to have sold out The Barbican Hall in London.

Found Songs and Dyad 1909 (2009)

In April 2009, Ólafur composed and released a track daily for seven days, instantly making each track available within 24 hours from . The collection of tracks was entitled Found Songs. The first track was released on 13 April.

In October 2009, the ballet Dyad 1909 premiered with a score composed by Ólafur which was also released as an EP.

Also in 2009, Ólafur formed an experimental techno project, Kiasmos, with Janus Rasmussen from the Icelandic electro-pop band Bloodgroup. They released a joint EP with Ryan Lee West of the EDM project Rival Consoles entitled 65/Milo.

Second studio album and Living Room Songs (2010-2011)

In April 2010, Ólafur released a new album entitled ...And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness. During 2010 Ólafur also went on a well-received Asian Tour organised by China-based promoter Split Works.

On October 3, 2011, Ólafur started another seven-day composition project similar to Found Songs, this one entitled Living Room Songs. The tracks were made available at each day throughout the week. The project was released as an album on December 23, 2011.

2011 also saw the release of Ólafur's remix of Mr Fogg's track Keep Your Teeth Sharp on the EP of the same name.

Another Happy Day, Two Songs For Dance... (2012)

In 2012, Ólafur announced a new partnership with the Universal Music label .

2012 saw four releases from Ólafur; his score for Sam Levinson's film Another Happy Day; an EP entitled Two Songs For Dance; the second EP from his experimental techno project Kiasmos and another EP entitled Stare with German pianist Nils Frahm.

Also in 2012, his song Allt varð hljótt was used in the score and the soundtrack for the film The Hunger Games.

Til enda was used in a trailer for the 2012 film Looper.

Third studio album and further scores (2013-present)

Ólafur released his third studio album entitled For Now I Am Winter in February 2013. Four tracks featured vocals from Arnór Dan of the Icelandic band Agent Fresco. This was the first time Ólafur incorporated vocals into any of his released work.

More recently, he composed the score and end-credits track for the 2013 ITV series Broadchurch, again featuring the vocals of Arnór Dan, along with the score for Ron Krauss' film Gimme Shelter.

Ólafur Arnalds has been involved with various other projects and his music appears in many films, television shows and advertisements. His songs have been featured on So You Think You Can Dance in multiple seasons. He also spoke at length on the subject of fan-submitted art in the 2011 documentary film Press Pause Play.


Studio Albums

Year Album Peak positions Certification
2007 Eulogy for Evolution  –
2010 ...And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness 73  –
2013 For Now I Am Winter 130  –


Year Album Peak positions Certification
2008 Variations of Static
2009 Found Songs
2009 Dyad 1909
2009 65/Milo (as Kiasmos with Janus Rasmussen and Rival Consoles)
2011 Living Room Songs
2012 Stare (with Nils Frahm)
2012 Two Songs For Dance
2012 Thrown (as Kiasmos with Janus Rasmussen)


Year Single Peak positions Album
2010 "A Hundred Reasons"
(Ólafur Arnalds & Haukur Heiðar Hauksson)
2013 "Old Skin" 29  – For Now I Am Winter
2014 "So Close"
(feat. Arnór Dan)
54 Broadchurch OST


  • Blinky TM (Short) (2010)
  • Jitters (2010)
  • Another Happy Day (2011)
  • The Hunger Games (2012)
  • Broadchurch (2013)
  • Gimme Shelter (2014)


External links

  • on Myspace
  • on Facebook
  • on Twitter
  • on Instagram
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