Who the hell is Lily The Kid?


Every now and then a concert comes along that changes the course of everything that follows it. At Iceland Airwaves this year, that concert was Lily The Kid at Slippbarinn. Following a completely pleasant start to the festival, Lily The Kid provided the unofficial announcement that Airwaves was finally here. They bought the party.

Lily The Kid arrived in a flurry of excitement and passion. Lilja took center stage with her strong, sweet vocals and the craziest dancing I’ve seen for a long time. The band form around her, producing dark, clever electro pop with samples and loops. Drinks were put down, or spilt in the rush to the stage. It was extraordinary stuff.
Lilja found time to answer a few questions for me.

Who exactly are Lily The Kid?

Lily the Kid is just me, Lilja Jónsdóttir, and my brother Hallur Jónsson. We write, record, produce and mix everything together. We did have three extra members for our live show at Iceland Airwaves, a drummer (Doddi), backing vocals (Sunna) and a guitarist (Kári).

Where does the name come from?

The name is a pretty old idea actually. I came up with it as some sort of alter ego for myself a few years ago. I think it describes and fits both me and us in more than one way.

How would you describe your music?

Wow, that is always a hard question. I think it’s sort of dreamy electronic pop, that still has some bite to it. We try to be innovative in our use of samples and vocals, and make irregular beats and use a lot of organic percussion. We want things to sound smooth but still make it shake your soul a little bit.

Where are you from in Iceland? Does this influence your music?

We are from a small town in East Iceland called Egilsstaðir, we were both born and raised there. I didn’t move to Reykjavík until I was almost 20 years old. I think it influenced us both to start making music. I still haven’t figured out how my past life as a small town girl is reflected in our music, but it must be in there somewhere. It will burst into my head one day.

Your Airwaves performance was stunning. I couldn’t believe it was you first ever set of concerts. What’s your secret?

Thank you so much! Well, we really love what we do and we work hard to make things fall into place. I think that’s the basic answer. We have of course performed a lot with Bloodgroup, but I haven’t performed in almost five years. That Friday night at Airwaves was a pretty big one! It’s just the most thrilling thing in the world for me, being on stage and performing music, and when it’s my own music that I’ve been waiting to release for such a long time, it gives you a little something extra. Plus, we had some of the finest musicians in the country playing with us. That helps a little!

Your Mainland EP is out now digitally. It’s wonderful, but far too short. Are there plans for more music?

Absolutely. This is just the beginning. Right now we are working on our next EP, and we hope to release it early next year. We will probably release songs from it as we go, like we did with Mainland. We of course hope to release a full length LP sometime next year. This project has been so much fun to work on, we’ve explored so many new sounds and ideas. I can’t wait to keep going.

Does Lily The Kid mean the end of Bloodgroup?

Oh no! Bloodgroup is still alive and well, it has just been hibernating for the last few months, as all its members are swamped in other projects at the moment (Kiasmos, Byrta and FURA, to name a few). I think something might be in the works for 2015…

For more details on Lily the Kid please see their Facebook page.

Originally published on Iceland Review online.