Heading to Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves this week? We delve into the line-up to bring you seven of the best homegrown acts
Logi Stefánsson and Karin Sveinsdótti deliver dreamy synth pop with a distinctly cool air. Having been nominated for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the Icelandic Music Awards with no music to speak of, you just knew the pair had to have something incredible up their sleeve. This year’s no.1 EP and lead track “Hearts” don’t disappoint.
Imagine, if you will, that Blade Runner and Drive took place in the same movie universe. Now, imagine what that would sound like – industrial swells, dirty eighties synths and seductive, velvety vocals right?! You might not know it but the sound you’re searching for actually already exists in the musical pairing of theDanni and Diva de la Rosa.
LILY THE KID
FKA Twigs isn’t the only artist experimenting with hyper stylised minimalist pop and muscular trip hop beats. Lily The Kid’s first single “Pedro” – the work of Lilja K. Jónsdóttir and her producer/brother Hallur Jónsson – is an exercise in control, power, prowess, vulnerability and seduction.
Tension is the name of Vök’s latest EP and probably the best word you could use to describe the creations of singer Margrét Rán, saxophonist Andri Már and guiatrist Ólafur Aleksander. Theirs is a world of tightly wound vocals and incredibly clean electronics whose incremental layering and intensely personal lyrics often result in a deeply satisfying synth driven release.
Formed in the summer of 2013 by singer/visual artist Rakel Mjöll and producer Sölvi Blöndal, Halleluwah were quick to release their first single “Blue Velvet” and those that heard it were equally quick to fall in love. As modern as it is retro and as playful as it is dark, “Blue Velvet” holds an air of grace so rarely sprung from youthful naïveté.
Combining their individual talents with stunning effect, Bafta winning pianist Ólafur Arnalds and Bloodgroup mastermind Janus Rasmussen’s collaborative project Kiasmos is one part classical and two parts electronic. It’s also just about as beautiful as anything the pair have released independently and perhaps all the more vibrant for it.
If you’re looking for the musical embodiment of Iceland’s ethereal, glacial landscape then Samaris’ debut album Silkidrangar is a good place to start. A siren call for the 21st Century, Silkidrangar grounds its enchanting lyrics – culled from nineteenth century poetry and delivered in a flickering native tongue – in bold percussive bounces and playful yet wholesome synths.
Words: Lauren Down