Kacey Musgraves Previews Album with Video Filmed in Iceland

Deeper Well by Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves is set to release a new album in March. A video to the lead single of the album, Deeper Well, was released yesterday. The video was filmed in Iceland during challenging weather conditions.

Yellow weather warning at the Blue Lagoon

The American Country singer Kacey Musgraves is set to release a new album in March of this year. A video to the title track of the album, Deeper Well, was released yesterday. The video was filmed in various locations in Iceland, including the Árbæjarsafn open-air museum. 

As noted by Vísir, Musgraves visited Iceland last October and shared numerous pictures from her visit, including her time at the Blue Lagoon during a yellow weather warning. According to Vísir’s sources, Musgraves was similarly unfortunate when it came to weather conditions on the day that the video to Deeper Well was shot, although the video manages to play down those inauspicious conditions effectively. 

“The video for Deeper Well was shot on location in stunning Iceland, amongst the elements and the moss and the hidden folk. (I promise I was careful not to disturb their dwellings),” Musgraves wrote on Instagram.

In an article on the song on Variety, Chris Willman notes that Deeper Well “finds the singer-songwriter in her most acoustic, finger-picking mode, expressing a sense of contentment as she moves on from an unsatisfactory relationship and contemplates other lifestyle changes.”

Kacey Musgraves began her career in the early 2000s and has been awarded seven Grammy Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards, and three Academy of Country Music Awards.

Waning Volcanic Activity Hints at End of Reykjanes Eruption

Meradalir eruption, August 2022

Volcanic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula is waning, suggesting the current eruption may conclude soon. A volcanologist anticipates more eruptions in the area, predicting a cyclical pattern of intense but brief activity, potentially altering if magma gathers in the Eldvörp craters.

More eruptions likely to follow

In an interview with a radio programme on the National Broadcaster this morning, volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson stated that volcanic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula was slowly decreasing; the eruption could end as soon as tomorrow or the day after.

The northern crater of the fissure continued to spew lava westward, while lava from the southern crater was flowing out onto the plain. Ármann noted that eruptions in the area could not become any larger while issuing from the fissure near Sundhnúkar. Future eruptions are expected to be powerful but short-lived.

According to Ármann, it is likely that the current pattern of eruptions in the area will continue: a short eruption would occur, it would end, magma would begin accumulating again, and another eruption would occur. In the event that magma would begin accumulating in Eldvörp — a series of craters approximately ten kilometres long, where lava flowed during the Reykjanes Fires between 1210 and 1240 — this pattern would, however, likely change; the eruptions would become larger and last longer.

The current eruption is the third volcanic eruption to occur on the Reykjanes peninsula since December 18. The two previous eruptions have been relatively short-lived.

No lava fountains visible

In an interview with Vísir this morning, Sigríður Magnea Óskarsdóttir, a natural hazard specialist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, stated that the MET Office had not observed any lava-fountain activity since between 8 and 9 this morning.

“That does not mean that the eruption is completely over; there could still be some bubbling inside the craters. Ideally, we would need to fly over the area to verify. The geological unrest has, however, completely calmed down, and there is little or no seismic activity. So, it is very likely that the situation will fully settle down shortly,” Sigríður observed.

Defendants Deny Charges in Landmark Domestic Terrorism Trial

Héraðsdómur Reykjavíkur Reykjavík District Court

A landmark domestic terrorism trial against two men accused of plotting attacks against state institutions and civilians began at the Reykjavik District Court yesterday. Both defendants have denied the charges. A senior police officer testified that the suspects’ communications and behaviour justified police intervention.

Court proceedings begin

The main proceedings in the so-called domestic terrorism case began yesterday at the Reykjavik District Court. The District Court will be composed of three judges due to the scope and content of the case. The defence attorney for one of the defendants told Vísir yesterday that he believed there was good reason to be optimistic about the outcome of the case.

The case was opened in September of 2021 when four Icelandic men were arrested suspected of “terrorist plots” against state institutions and civilians. Two of the suspects were immediately released; the other two, Sindri Snær Birgisson and Ísidór Nathansson, were remanded in custody.

According to the police, the suspects had hoarded numerous weapons – including dozens of semi-automatic guns and 3D-printed components – alongside a considerable amount of ammunition. In private messages, the two men had reportedly discussed carrying out an attack. Chief Police Inspector Karl Steinar Valsson told reporters at the time that this was the “first investigation of its kind to be launched in Iceland.”

On October 9, 2022, charges were filed against the two men. Sindri Snær was charged with attempted terrorism and weapons offences, and Ísidór for complicity in attempted terrorism, weapons offences, and minor drug offences.

A brief chronology of the case

On February 6, 2023, the Reykjavik District Court dismissed the case on the basis that it would be difficult for Sindri and Ísidór to mount a defence as the case failed to adequately specify their alleged criminal conduct in relation to said terrorist attacks. The indictment was, therefore, flawed to the extent that it did not meet the requirements of criminal procedure law.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal decision four days later, and the prosecution was back to square one. As noted by Vísir, Símon Sigvaldason, one of the three Court of Appeals judges, issued a dissenting opinion, acknowledging certain flaws in the indictment but arguing that they were not so severe as to warrant dismissal. He believed that the district court’s decision should be annulled.

On June 12 last year, a new indictment was filed in the case, which was much more detailed and covered the alleged planning of terrorist acts. It more thoroughly described the accusations against Sindri Snær and Ísidór of plotting to murder named individuals and commit terrorist acts. They also expressed their admiration for notorious figures such as Anders Breivik. The second indictment did not, however, find favour with Daði Kristjánsson, the district judge, who agreed with Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, Sindri Snær’s defence attorney, to dismiss the case.

The District Prosecutor appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals, demanding that the case proceed to substantive trial. The Court of Appeals overturned the dismissal on October 23 last year.

The police were right to intervene

During his testimony in court yesterday, Sindri Snær Birgisson stated that he was in no way planning a terrorist attack when he discussed mass murder, purchasing police uniforms, admiring mass murderers, and similar topics with a friend. “I completely deny this; it’s just crazy.” He and his defence attorney have strongly criticised the prosecution for taking things out of context.

Ísidór likewise denied the charges and stated that he did not intend to assist Sindri in preparing terrorist acts. He claimed to have been coerced during police interrogation and that he had been held in solitary confinement. He described being under significant stress during the nearly three-month custody period. He admitted that he and Sindri shared a “disgusting” sense of humour.

During his testimony, Chief Police Inspector Karl Steinar Valsson outlined the National Police Commissioner’s involvement in the case. When questioned by the defence attorney about statements at a press conference regarding the “prevention of a terrorist act,”, Karl Steinar noted that Sindri and Ísidór had made statements, in private messages, about intending to harm others. He affirmed that it was his assessment at the time, and it remains his view today, that the police were correct to intervene.

Emergency Efforts Underway to Restore Heat in Suðurnes

eruption, eldgos, civil protection dept. almannavarnir, Sundhnjúkargígjarröð

The Reykjanes peninsula experienced a volcanic eruption that led to a hot water outage across Suðurnes since noon yesterday. Efforts are underway to establish an auxiliary water pipeline to restore hot water, with residents and critical facilities like nursing homes receiving emergency heaters in the meantime.

Suðurnes without hot water since noon yesterday

Following a volcanic eruption that began on the Reykjanes peninsula at 6 AM yesterday, lava eventually flowed over and breached the so-called Njarðvíkur conduit, a pipeline that transports hot water from the Svartsengi geothermal power plant to the towns in Suðurnes: Vogar, Reykjanesbær, Garður, Sandgerði, and Grindavík.

Shortly after noon, the utility company HS Veitur reported that a hot-water outage had occurred in the upper areas of the Reykjanesbær municipality and the towns of Sandgerði and Garður. The rest of Suðurnes soon followed. Residents were urged to lower the temperature in their homes to extend the availability of hot water as long as possible. 

In response to the hot-water outage, many also waited in long lines to buy electric radiators, gas tanks, and heater fans. Several schools in the area were closed, and the Keflavík International Airport was likewise without hot water. 

Working to connect an auxiliary pipeline

As soon as it was clear that the pipeline had been damaged, a group of workers began working on welding bypass connections to a new auxiliary water pipeline to compensate for the old Njarðvík conduit. This group of workers included welders, plumbers, excavation workers, and more. Although the night was uneventful regarding the eruption itself — it could conclude as early as today or the weekend — efforts to connect the new auxiliary pipeline were in full swing.

In an interview with RÚV this morning, Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir, Communication Manager with the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, stated that work on the new pipeline was progressing well. 

As noted by RÚV, the civil protection authorities purchased heaters for those who couldn’t do so themselves, such as for nursing homes and hospitals: “The approximately 100 heaters that were purchased were delivered to operation control in Suðurnes to be distributed to those who could not secure such items for themselves,” Hjördís remarked. “They have been very useful, especially at the Nesvellir and Hlíðarvangur nursing homes. We have also ordered a large quantity of heaters, which will arrive in the country today.”

The foremost priority of the civil protection authorities is to restore heat. Hjördís emphasised, however, that this process could take some time, assuring residents that the authorities would continually update residents on the progress: “As we have already noted, even though the auxiliary pipeline is connected, it will take time to restore heat to the system. So, it will remain cold today, but we hope that the process will proceed quickly and securely.”

Deep North News: Three Icelandic Women Do What The Government Hasn’t

In this episode of Deep North News, we bring you the story of how three Icelandic women took it upon themselves to begin rescuing Palestinians with Icelandic residence permits from Gaza–something the Icelandic government has said would be “complicated” and has still not yet taken action on–while fundraising efforts continue.

We also bring you the latest on the newest Reykjanes eruption, a Grammy win for an Icelandic musician, Russian hackers cyberattacking a university, local drama surrounding a celebrity cat, and much more!

Deep North News brings you all of Iceland’s top stories, every week, with the context and background you need. Be sure to like, follow and subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode!