I love festivals, but I love festivals in Iceland more. Iceland Airwaves is fast approaching, and there is nothing like perusing the schedule, figuring who to see and when, and discovering new artists.
Here is a list of five from my list, to add to yours. Some may sound familiar, others are brand new out of the box. All deserve further investigation.
Lily the Kid
Who? Actually Lilja K. Jónsdóttir, a singer/songwriter and her producer brother Hallur Jónsson, Lilja was formerly the front woman of the well known Bloodgroup. This is breathy, intimate vocals over Nordic electro pop if Pedro is anything to go by. Worth seeking out.
Who? Fura is a collaboration between the songstress Björt Sigfinnsdóttir and the producer duo Hallur Jónsson (again, busy lad!) and Janus Rasmussen. From humble beginnings as record store workers – which I can relate to – they now produce late night electronica and stunning vocals from the Eastern reaches of Seyðisfjörður.
Who? Not actually a bird, but Jon Valur Gudmundsson – a 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Reykjavik. Described as ‘catchy, lush melancholia, and minimalistic arrangements’ this chap definitely shares similarities with Ásgeir, who he has previously worked with. Speaking of work, Jón Valur has also grafted as a sound-engineer for the Icelandic grand-masters of reggae, hjálmar, over the last few years.
Who? Young Karin (formerly known as Highlands) are Logi Pedro Stefánsson from Retro Stefson and the very talented Karin Sveinsdóttir. Ignore the contractual based name-change, Young Karin are ready formed, ready to take on the dance floors of Reykjavík, and seemingly, my headphones.
Their debut album is a stormer; It starts with the swirling Berlin, all hectic beats, buzzing bass and that wonderful ‘la la la’ refrain. Hearts is Young Karin’s calling card; a standout track consisting of Karin’s sumptuous vocals being looped, lovely chiming and old fashioned story of love.
Ok, ok, so not ‘new’, Sigurlaug Gísladóttir, is very well known also for her work with Múm, Snorri Helgasson, Mice Parade and Low Roar. She has a truly wondrous voice, and it’s easy to see why she’s in huge demand. However, she has promised a solo show, ahead of her brand new debut solo album. I can’t wait. Actually, I clearly can, but it’s been far too long.