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.
Last year Iceland’s very own Emilíana Torrini released the album Tookah. Torrini has participated in a wide variety of projects, including writing and recording music for Lord of the Rings, and co-writing with Kylie Minogue. Her first album Me and Armini was well recevied around the world and especially the hit Jungle Drum which for example topped the German chart for 9 weeks. Tookah is a bit of a departure from the energetic Me and Armini. Where Me and Armini was upbeat and catchy, Tookah is quiet and introspective. Much of the music here is pastoral electronica, rooted in atmospheric and evocative folksy melodies framed by either bubbling percussive beats or dark whining synths.
Watch an intimate and more acoustic performance of her new material, live from Kex Hostel during the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival last year. The footage was released only yesterday, and you can find the full performance on YouTube.
Artist: Hjálmar | Song: Lof
Hugely respected, admired and loved. Hjálmar have until been one of Iceland’s best kept secrets. At home they are the great reggae kings, mixing the sounds of Jamaica with the sounds of Iceland creating a unique blend of warm, old-school reggae, sung entirely in Icelandic (so called lopapeysu-reggae = wool sweater reggae). The band consists of accomplished musicians who eagerly embrace the challenge of experimenting, while still maintaining the rehearsed, syncopated reggae grooves.
Hjámars live performances are extremely tight, energetic, colorful and at the same time relaxed. Which is proved in this video filmed in the studio when Hjálmar recorded the brand new song Lof (Praise) in honor of the bands tenth anniversary this year. If you like this as much as we do, then we have good news for you: Hjálmar plan to release another new song on July 1 – the International Reggae Day .
Artist: Nýdönsk feat. John Grant | Song: Sweet World
One of the best songs from 2013 was this live co-operation between John Grant – brilliant American singer, performer and songwriter and now a resident of Reykjavik – and Nýdönsk, a legendary group that have released 13 records since their debut in 1987. Sweet World is the English version of a Nýdönsk track originally called Flugvélar.
We love it. It’s just one of those songs that you want to listened to over and over again. Enjoy!
Artist: Samaris | Single: Ég Vildi Fegin Verda | Album: Silkidrangar
This band is certainly keeping themselves busy. Following the release of their self-titled debut full length last year, Samaris will release their new album Silkidrangar on 6 May. The new single Ég Vildi Fegin Verda gives a taste of what’s to expect. The 3-piece will also be supporting John Grant on his Ireland & UK tour dates 3-9 March.
Samaris combination of classical and electronic instruments, tied together with lyrics based on old Icelandic poetry makes up for something unique. The soaring, whispering vocals are just as much an instrument of it’s own in the naked compositions.
Áslaug Magnúsdóttir (clarinet) and Jófríður Ákadóttir (vocals) have known each other since they were six years old. In 2011, when they studied music together, they decided to form the band with Þórður Steinþórsson (beats and electronics). Since then they have released two EP:s and their debut album on the legendary One Litte Indian label.