Melodic and heavy rock from Kontinuum

Artist: Kontinuum | Single: Í Huldusal

Metalhammer has described them as “An astonishing cocktail of punk energy, post-rock weight and ambience, melancholic metal despondency and the occasional flash of Emperor’s ferocity”.

We don’t actually understand exactly what that means, but it sounds cool. All we know is that Kontinuum have a fresh single out now on their YouTube channel called Í Huldusal. And it’s a great example of classic quality rock in a retro style. Heavy, melodic and sung in Icelandic. Quit simply a power ballad that grows with every listening.

The single is from the band’s upcoming new album, whose title and release date are still unknown. Kontinuum’s previous album, Earth Blood Magic, was released in 2012 and was widely praised by critics.

Quotation of The Day: Revolution in The Elbow

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“Unlike many musicals, the songs, which can be heard on the musical’s new concept recording, stand independently of the story, evoking influences from David Bowie, Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, the Pixies, Sufjan Stevens, and more.”

James Edstrom in Times Square Gossip about Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter,  a musical project from Iceland with music and lyrics by Ívar Páll Jónsson. Performances begin off-Broadway July 31th, with the official opening night on August 13th.

Øye on Korean tour with Hjálmar in new video

Artist: Erlend Øye (and Hjálmar) | Single: Garota

The Norwegian singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Erlend Øye presents the music video for his new single Garota. Erlend Øye is best-know for being a member of both indie folk-pop duo Kings Of Convenience and Berlin-based dance-pop project Whitest Boy Alive. But since the latter has broken up and no Kings of Convinience release is planned, Øye has been working on his solo album Legao instead. We’ve already posted the first single Fence Me In, now it’s time for single number two; Garota.

For Legao Øye has rounded up members of the legendary Icelandic reggae band Hjálmar. On Fence Me In the reggae influences were obvious with offbeat guitar and organ-shuffle. On Garota the reggae sound is more toned down, but still colored with horns and hammond in a distinctive Hjálmaresque way.

The album was recorded in Reykjavik, but the video was filmed in South Korea by director Michael Beech. The beautifully shot film documents a stadium-size show in Seoul with Erlend Øye backed up by Hjálmar, but also tells a fictional romantic story about Øye and a Korean garota, which means girl in portugese.

The album will be released October the 3rd via Bubble Records.

New soothing track from Valdimar

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Artist: Valdimar | Single: Good Enough for Now

Valdimar is a true gem of a band. They have released two albums, both very successful on Iceland. Besides producing elegant, melodic, spacey and dramatic music, the band’s prime asset is singer Valdimar Guðmundsson’s gentle, sincere and soulful voice. Valdimar’s music is simply soothing to listen to. And if you haven’t listened to their music – don’t miss to check them out. Every track is worth your time. Promise.

This morning Validimar released a new single on Icelandic radio called Læt það duga. They also made an English version named Good Enough for Now. Click and listen below. Nice, isn’t it? That’s more than good enough boys!

Amaba Dama delivers Icelandic summer hit

Artist: Amaba Dama | Single: Hossa Hossa

Icelandic reggae? As matter of fact the Icelandic reggae scene has been thriving the last ten years. And it’s not as strange as it first may seem. Keep in mind that with 6-10 months of snow, rain, cold winds and gray skies, it is pretty logical that the warm Jamaican rhythms might appeal to the Icelanders.

This summer Amaba Dama has won the ears and hearts of the Icelandic nation with their dance friendly hit Hossa Hossa. The band sings in Icelandic, with their musical influences steadily rooted in the traditional reggae style. Singers Gnúsi Yones, Steinunn and Salka Sól make up the core of the band. Supported by a group of groovy musicians the band has built a reputation of delivering a great live set to clubs and festivals all over the island.  Amaba Dama aim to release their debut album this autumn.

The video for Hossa Hossa just came out, even though the single has been topping the Icelandic charts the last five weeks. The reason for the delay of the video was that the band only filmed when it was sunshine. There’s true Icelandic weather for you!

A mix of musical news from Iceland

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Ben Frost has made it onto FACT Magazine’s quarterly 20 Best albums list. Ben Frost is an Australian composer and producer long based in Reykjavík, Iceland. His latest studio album Aurora, influenced by his time in the eastern Congo, has been highly acclaimed by critics everywhere from Pitchfork to Q Magazine. And that’s great if you like minimalist, instrumental and experimental music. We pretty much get severe anxiety after only 30 seconds.

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The electro pop duo Highlands has grown to be a big name in Iceland. But now they decided to change name to Young Karin instead. The name change is the result of pressure from another band with the same name. “They will play hardball if we use it,” says Logi Pedro Stefánsson on Highland’s Facebook page. The new name refers to singer Karin Sveinsdóttir’s young age.

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Neil Young is headed  to play his first ever concert in Iceland. The concert will be part of an extended programme of ATP Iceland dubbed the ATP Takeover Series. The organizers have announced a programme of gigs on the nights between Neil Young & Crazy Horse (July 7th) and the second ATP Iceland festival (July 10-12th), including a special show by Ólafur Arnalds on July 9th. The festival already boasts a impressive lineup that includes Portishead, Interpol, Mogwai, Slowdive, Shellac, Devendra Banhart, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Swans, Loop, Low, Liars and many more.

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Útidúr is a ten piece group from Iceland that plays what they call  “joyous and ambitious chamber-pop with a dramatic streak”. This motley band of musicians are now about to head off on a tour of Germany are also letting any potential listeners download their last album Detour absolutely free. Here you go. Enjoy!

 

Catch Sóley live this summer

Artist: Sóley | Song: Halloween

Sóley (Sóley Stefánsdóttir) is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, pianist and member of the indie-collective Seabear. She also studied composition and is a passionate piano player and singer. In  2010 she released her debut EP Theater Island which was followed by her first full-length album We Sink. 

Sóley is playing two festivals this summer– Rauðasandur Festival and ATP Iceland. This song is called Halloween from her upcoming album and this was the very first time she performed it live. It was recorded for KEXP at Iceland Airwaves last year.

A page that is fanatic about Icelandic music…