Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’


Posted: September 26, 2016 in MUSIC
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Okay, I’m officially impressed with “I Lie” by Icelandic newcomer Soffía Björg. The song, as introduced to me by Indie Music blog , not only kicks some serious ass, but black and white accompanying video in a  The Ed Sullivan Show-style video is executed to perfection. If you, in the words of Joan Jett, love rock and roll, then you need to stop what you’re doing and check this out.

Utterances of Bjork can be heard at pretty much any Rhain show. She’s a figure of lyrical beauty, summoning narratives both weird and wacky in her song-writing. Born in Iceland and raised on The Isle Of Wight and was pulled towards the Bristol scene by the local label Chiverin. Perhaps the driving force of local weird-pop at the moment, tracks like ‘Humdrum Drivel’ are every inch charming.

Following the release her debut single ‘Humdrum Drive!’, pianist singer songwriter Rhain is back with a brand new, haunting track. ‘Josephine’ lives in that enchanted vocal world inhabited by the likes of Never For Ever-era Kate Bush and maybe Little Earthquakes-era Tori Amos, where childlike innocence and unsettling maturity meet.

“It was a dark and stormy night when I tripped and fell down into the gutter where I was shrink-rayed by a passing power ranger,” Rhain commented . “I was washed down a drain where I met Ali Chant and Drew Morgan and another guy who was made entirely of wood. We all turned on our wooden friend (he wasn’t very polite and would always put his elbows on the dinner table and was a shoddy hand for opening doors for you) and made his body into a cello for Drew to play. Ali had some microphones kicking around and I had this song called ‘Josephine’… and being washed down the drain, having not much else to do apart from waiting to get rescued we thought we might as well record a song. And that’s how ‘Josephine’ came into being…”


Songs written and performed by RHAIN.

Recorded with Ali Chant at Toybox Studios, Bristol.


Warpaint, Torres, Kate Tempest, Samaris + 40 other Acts Added To Iceland Airwaves 2016

New international and local talents join PJ Harvey, Julia Holter + múm with Kronos Quartet on our festival bill.

Warpaint (US), Torres (US), Kate Tempest (UK), Samaris and forty more acts have been added to Iceland Airwaves 2016. The full list of additions are below, joining PJ Harvey, Julia Holter and múm with Kronos Quartet.
Iceland Airwaves will take place on the 2nd – 6th November this year, tickets are on sale now. There’s also a range of international package offers to welcome back the city break festival goer, have a look here.
The full list of acts announced so far at Iceland Airwaves are as follows:
Agent Fresco / Amabadama / Sturla Atlas / Auður / Petur Ben / Soffía Björg / Aron Can /
Hannah Lou Clark (UK) / Axel Flóvent / Fufanu / GKR / Glowie / Emmsjé Gauti / Unge Ferrari (NO) / Fews (SE/US) / dj flugvél og geimskip / Futuregrapher / Dolores Haze (SE) /
Hildur / Himbrimi / Julia Holter (US) / HórMónar / IamHelgi / The Ills (SK) / Silvana Imam (SE) / Einar Indra / Jennylee (US) / Karó / Liima (DE) / Lush (UK) / Mammút / Kælan Mikla /
Milkywhale / Minor Victories (UK) / múm with Kronos Quartet (US) / Máni Orra / Pink Street Boys / PJ Harvey (UK) / Puffin Island / Reykjavíkurdætur / Samaris / Mr.Silla / Singapore Sling / The Sonics (US) / Emil Stabil (DE) / Steinar / Kate Tempest (UK) / This is the Kit (UK) / Tonik Ensemble / Torres (US) / úlfur úlfur / Vök / Warpaint (US) / Dj Yamaho / VIO

Regarding PJ Harvey’s performance at Valsheimilið, Sunday 6th November

PJ Harvey will perform at the grand closing party on the Sunday night. Please note there will be no separate tickets and Iceland Airwaves ticket holders will be admitted from doors opening on a first come first served basis.
Regarding múm with Kronos Quartet at Eldborg, Harpa on Friday 4th November

Although this is a separately ticketed event, the show is included in the Iceland Airwaves ticket price. These tickets will be handed out to festival-goers on a first-come-first-served basis Thursday 3rd November at noon in the Media Center at Harpa.

ATP Iceland: 1-3 July, KeflavIk, Iceland

The Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men released a series of five lyrics videos to build hype for its sophomore album Beneath The Skin. But rather than just use funky typography to spell out the song’s verses, Of Monsters and Men commissioned friends and actors to lip-sync their songs. Singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir recruited Danish actor and make-up artist Atli Freyr Demantur to star in “I of the Storm.” Watching him perform as a tattooed, bare-chested drag queen shows the true emotional depth and fragility of the song. Taken from the bands last album “Beneath The Skin”

Music video by Of Monsters and Men performing Wolves Without Teeth. The lyric video for its track “Wolves Without Teeth,” finds Icelandic twins Erna and Hrefna lip-syncing. (You might recognize them from Ariko Inaoka’s haunting photography project.) It’s a surreal thing to watch, thinking you’re seeing a mirrored image when you’re not. There’s just the right amount of disconnect in their motions to remind you that you’re watching twins. It makes an already-stellar song that much more compelling

Music video by Of Monsters And Men performing Organs, Following up the success of their 2011 album My Head Is an Animal, Icelandic folk-poppers Of Monsters and Men released a new album called Beneath the Skin. It dropped mid year on June 9th on Republic Records and they’ve shared a lyric video for its somber, minimal track “Organs.”

Music video by Of Monsters and Men performing Thousand Eyes. Of Monsters and Men is a five-member, English-language indie folk group band from Keflavík, Iceland, formed in 2010. The members are lead singer/guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, co-singer-guitarist Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson and bassist Kristján Páll Kristjánsson

Icelandic Airwaves Festival is famous not just for its big-name headliners,

Kiasmos lead the final wave of Iceland Airwaves line up additions.

They join the likes of Mercury Rev, Arca, Hot Chip, John Grant, Perfume Genius, Ariel Pink, Beach House, Battles, Hinds and hundreds more.

Iceland Airwaves 2015 takes place 4th-8th November in a varity of venues across Reykjavik.

Iceland Airwaves Music Festival bill, this November are Tuff Love They’ll be joining an amazing line-up including fellow Lost Mapper Rozi Plain, as well as Hot Chip, Ariel Pink, East India Youth, Father John Misty, Hinds, LoneLady, Mercury Rev, Meilyr Jones, and SOAK among many others.but also a chance to see the weird, wonderful and wild Icelandic bands who form a large part of the festival’s bill. Many of these local heroes don’t play regularly on overseas stages, so it’s a big part of the festival experience to see them play for their home crowd, in the many interesting venues dotted around Reykjavík’s city centre.

With a relatively sparse thoroughfare of overseas bands, Reykjavík’s many homegrown talents keep the gig circuit ticking throughout the year, giving them plenty of time to hone their craft – one reason, perhaps, for the oft-heard remark that the level of musical ability seems preturnaturally high on this little island.

Here are a few recommendations for anyone feeling dizzy from the sheer volume of Icelandic acts to check out – from cosmic art-pop to oddball disco to dreamy soundscapes to chaotic rock ‘n’ roll to a full symphony orchestra – there’s a rich musical menu on offer at Airwaves ‘. Most will play several shows – one official festival show, and at various “off-venue” daytime gigs – so there’ll be multiple chances to check them out.


Something of a young-team supergroup, the five faces of Oyama might be familiar to those keeping an eye on the Icelandic indie scene in recent years – they boast members of Útidur, Sudden Weather Change, Swords of Chaos and Grísalappalísa, amongst others. But their sound is something quite different from all of the above – a mixture of distorted noise-rock and dreamy, expansive shoegaze-inflected soundscapes, with lyrics that offer a melancholy look at life in the world’s Northernmost capital.


Since signing to One Little Indian, the secret of Samaris is out – they’ve been out touring for much of 2014 in support their debut album Silkidrangar – but they’re still a must-see at Airwaves ´14. Their mixture of ’90s-inflected beats, electronic drones and atmospheric clarinet lines is pushed to the next level by the one-off voice of singer Jófríður Ákadóttir, whose breathy vocals seem at once young and wise, humane and otherworldly.

Sunday 8th November will see the culmination of the five day festival wrap up with a huge extravaganza at Vodafone Hall, featuring the crème de la crème party starters of the Icelandic music scene including FM Belfast and Úlfur Úlfur along side UK star bands Hot Chip and Sleaford Mods!.


Artist: Sóley, the song is “Follow Me Down”  from the forthcoming album “Ask the Deep”

It takes a special talent to turn a morbid or frightening idea into sublime sensation. If it were a craft, Icelandic singer-songwriter Sóley would be its master practitioner. The dark fantasy of her 2011 debut LP, “We Sink”, read like a Burton-esque chapter book with song titles like “About Your Funeral”, “Kill the Clown” and “Smashed Birds”, while its reverb drenched melodies and breathy vocals whirled and swayed like curling clouds in an opium dream. On in, Sóley’s songs, wistful and melancholy, but never morose, glimmered alluringly from the shadows.

Follower have had to wait four years for her next collection of tales to take shape, and finally, on May 12th, their desires will be answered with a new album titled “Ask The Deep”. If the first single is any indication, the forthcoming full-length takes up where the story left off.  The song’s hypnotic beat, swirling keys and chorused vocals transform what might be a horrific moment into a glorious adventure where the concept that “you must face your fairytale” holds magical and empowering results.

Sóley is about to embark on an adventure of her own as she travels through Japan and Europe over the next two months. As of yet, there are no US dates, but we’re hoping she’ll return to Seattle soon enough. For now, head over to her Facebook page, where you can find more music, including her second single from Ask The Deep, Follow Me Down


As the prime force behind Iceland’s Singapore Sling, Henrik Björnsson has created some of the most compelling psych rock of the past 15 years. With his creativity just as reliable as it is relentless and boundless, Björnsson has consistently made music that revolves around, as he puts it, his “love of the rock & roll of the past, and hatred for the majority of music around him.”

It’s this combination of love and hate that defines Singapore Sling’s triumphant 2014 album, “The Tower of Foroncity”. The album bathes you in musical references to The Jesus and Mary Chain, Suicide, late 50s’ and early 60s’ rock & roll, country music…the list is seemingly endless. And, in doing so, it offers you a listening experience unlike anything you’ve had before.

Not only is Foroncity one of the best albums of last year, but its strange genre amalgamations are the stuff of pure psychedelia in its original Greek definition of “mind-revealing” – challenging you to rethink what you thought you knew about genre and imagination. Indeed, Björnsson wants to challenge you, entertain you, and give you a true psychedelic experience – and Singapore Sling accomplish this to no end.


Firmly a phenomenon in their home country of Iceland, the four-piece band Kaleo is set to descend upon foreign shores in 2015, bringing their gorgeous blend of folk, blues, country, and rock to a wider mainstream audience in America. Their isolated heritage inspires a unique take on familiar sonic elements, resulting in diversity and freedom on each and every breathtaking track.
Best friends since attending elementary school in the small town of Mosfellsbaer outside of Reykjavik, bandleader JJ Juliusson, drummer David Antonsson, and bassist Danny Kristjansson began playing cover songs together at the age of 18. Honing their skills with the songs of others, they began writing their own music and gigged around the nation’s capital for a few years, playing countless shows before adding guitarist Rubin Pollock to the mix in 2012. They named the band Kaleo, which means “the sound” in Hawaiian, and started their career in earnest with a handful of well-received shows at the 2012 Iceland Airwaves music festival.
They recorded their first pair of original songs in early 2013, the fiery “Rock N Roller” and laid-back, bluesy “Pour Sugar On Me,” which earned Kaleo some radio airplay and press in Iceland. Then, that spring, their cover of the traditional Icelandic ballad “Vor í vaglaskógi” during a live radio show was videotaped and posted to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. The band recorded a studio version of the song in June, which went straight to Number One in virtually every radio station in the country. “It’s a different kind of cover, more dramatic and the tempo is taken down,” says JJ. “We had played it for friends and people seemed to react to it. I always liked the old song; somehow it spoke to me.” The buzz for Kaleo had begun; in fact, the video’s views now number greater than the entire population of Iceland.
The band signed to Iceland’s largest record label, Sena, in the fall of 2013 and recorded their full-length debut, Kaleo, in just six short weeks. Five singles would reach Number One and the album would go Gold, receiving high praise and sending the band to shows and festivals in Europe over the next year, including an appearance on the biggest stage in their home country, Culture Night, where they played to 100,000 people and reached 90 percent of Iceland’s population in broadcast. Then, in the spring of 2014, Kaleo recorded the lush, introspective song “All the Pretty Girls” and in one night their destiny to outgrow their small, island nation was cemented.
“It’s different from the others, a very delicate song. It seemed to speak to a lot of people,” says JJ. “From there everything started to happen. We got contacted from other places: managers, labels, publishers—they all went crazy over one night.” Drawn to Kaleo’s multi-layered dynamics, their ability to play different genres with equal skill, the vocals and mood reminiscent of everything from Bon Iver and Iron & Wine to Coldplay and David Gray, and wise-beyond-their-years songwriting, the world came calling.
Now, signed to Atlantic Records in the US, Kaleo has moved to Austin, Texas, and will begin recording new material with producer Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg) in London for an EP due this year. Get ready for the sound.


Singapore Sling is an Icelandic neo-psychedelia band from Reykjavík. The band have released five studio albums to date.