Back in 2014 Júníus Meyvant, real name Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson, picked up the Best Pop song and the Brightest Hope awards at the Icelandic music awards. Pretty good going considering the list of unique and innovative musicians Iceland produces.

Two years later and with the release of the debut album Floating Harmonies, it's pretty clear that he has lived up to his 'Brightest Hope' prophecy. Tracks like 'Neon Experience' and 'Hailslide' with their soul and blues influences take Icelandic music in an interestingly upbeat direction.

I sat down with Júníus Meyvant to discuss obsession in the studio, painting, and puffins.

This is day two of your European tour, how was the show in Berlin and is there anywhere you're particularly excited about playing?

Berlin was great, we played in a club called privatclub. It's a really nice small venue but packed with people and the heat was crazy. I was joking around telling them to turn the heat up because I was cold.

I've never been to Poland so I'm excited to play here. It's a cool venue. I like this raw factory style. I'm really looking forward to playing everywhere really.

Do you like touring?

My main thing is being in the studio and making music. Being alone and no one is bothering me and just doing music. Travelling is always fun. Meeting new people is always fun. There comes a day though when you don't want to talk to anyone but that's just being human. I like this job more than being in a fish factory.

Is this the fish factory that features in your 'Neon Experience' video?

Yeah I used to work there, and a lot of other places.

The video also stars a Puffin

Yeah, his name's Tóti. Puffins can live for up to 60 years, maybe even more. He flew from his nest too soon and they tried to release him back into the world and he always came back.

How does it feel to have your debut album Floating harmonies out in the world?

It feels really good to have it out, now I can go onto the next album. For me, if I play a song 10 times I tend to think it's old. So for me doing a tour playing the same song over and over again, it's kind of hard for me as a person.

I understand of course that people want to hear these songs and I'll play these songs. It's also it's kind of like a vacation because it's all in the muscle memory now and you just play different cities and get to see the world. So I'm glad.

There are some things I didn't like about it at first, but today it's just an album and the next destination is going to be great.

Your album is a mixture of folk, blues and soul. What were your inspirations when writing the album?

Just a happy upbeat feeling. We have a lot of sad music in Iceland and I didn't want to make a sad album. But saying that there are some sad songs on the album.

One of the songs is about saying sorry on behalf of a guy in prison?

Yeah Pearl in Sandbox. Yeah, that's a sad song.

I've heard you're pretty obsessive in the studio; did it take a long time to get the album recorded?

Yeah like a lunatic! It took two years to record. I'm not Brian Wilson. I'm not going to do an album that takes ten years.

But you know obsession in the studio is good. I know exactly what I don't want and most of the time I kind of know where I'm going.

It takes time when you're doing a painting. You have to check out some colours before you see the one colour you want to use. It helps that I have a studio of my own where I record some things, so all the obsession and craziness I do it alone.

Is it easy getting studio time in Iceland? I know producers there are pretty in demand.

That was also the part of the problem because there's only one guy I really wanted to use and he's really busy. It took me like four sessions to do the album. Like I did this one session and then I had to wait for two months and the other one I had to wait for four months.

The album cover is from a painting you did right? And it includes ash from a volcano?

Yeah it includes ash from Eyjafjallajökull and also Grimsvotn.

Do you still find time to paint?

Yeah I'm still painting now. In Iceland I'm finishing two paintings.

Does the Icelandic landscape influence your music?

You know people influence me most, Nature also influences me but I never go outside and look at the nature and be like I'm going to write an epic song.

Ideas they just pop up everywhere for me. It's just a feeling, sometimes I know I'm writing a good song another feeling I might have is a when there's a sound I have to chase and a song can come out of that.

Your bio talks music taming your inner beast? Does painting bring that back out? Are you as a musician different to you as a painter?

Before music I was drawing and skating a lot, I was always doing clowny stuff. Trying to be funny and goofing around. When I found out I could write music I started feeling better because there was something I could put energy into and gained an identity. So it really helped me slow down.

Where does the name Júníus Meyvant come from?

I've always thought Meyvant was a great name, Júníus was a big tall person that knows how to play the trombone or something and with those two names together and you get something great I think.

I know it's early days but have you started on a new LP?

I have a lot of stuff that I want to record after this tour. I have all my equipment at my studio and I usually start doing demos. Then I take it to another studio and make it a little better.

Júníus Meyvant's Floating Harmonies album is out now.