Keeping a finger on the pulse


Gimme gimme gimme… goosebumps – CeaseTone

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You know what? I lost my faith in many things. For example I do not believe anymore that Iceland raises only (!) phenomenal musicians. So I am picky and sometimes I arrive at a venue with the thought: surprise me, setting the bar quite high at the same time and being sure it won’t be reached. When I’m not in a good mood it’s not that easy to satisfy me with music. However, I heard CeaseTone once in a radio a year ago or so. Hafsteinn Þráinsson, a brain and a boss of the project, played solo. There was only his voice and his guitar. Oops, I did it again and forgot something very important in between. His fingers. And the way they move.

Last year CeaseTone played quite a lot around but somehow I didn’t end up at the gig. But the last Saturday at Loft Hostel I couldn’t find any excuse to miss it out. He performed on stage together with Lockerbie, his other band and yes, they are alive! So it was pretty strong pro-choice argument for coming to this show. And well… I guess I haven’t mentioned yet about such a significant matter like a drummer of CeaseTone. You should know that stelpur rokkar… so does she. She rocks, end of story. Just watch her playing.

As a band they simply storm through a couple of songs including brand new material and upcoming single. Hafsteinn seemed to be a vigorous train driver that together with his mates took us for a short trip. At the beginning it looked like it’s gonna be just a journey rich in nice landscapes and that’s all but it turned out that from time to time it sounded like sonic roller-coaster ride in the Wonderland. Putting into frames of genres is boring for Hafsteinn so CeaseTone just plays what comes to mind of the head of the band and he declares he can’t decide to move in one music genre so guess what you will find floating in his skull? Open sesame! Here we have bigger electronic sound with well accented bass lines and because Hafsteinn used to play in metal bands he knows how to come into the spotlight as a guitarist (seriously, I had problems with focusing on those drums…), moreover, since he studies jazz guitar he… argh. Ok, honestly, I hadn’t felt goosebumps during the concert for a quite long time before that evening. But CeaseTone knocked my socks off combining folk, post-rock and progrock on stage as soon as the next to last song exploded in a glamorous way. Oh boy oh boy oh boy! I set the bar for that evening high and what? That wasn’t high enough, CeaseTone reached it. Damn! I should better think of being much more picky…

In 2013 Hafsteinn was chosen the best guitarist of Músíktilraunir/Battle of the bands annual young talents competition. Well, nothing strange about it. I would even risk a thesis that the boss of CeaseTone and his guitars used to be like Siamese twins. They seem to have got a good rapport with each other so as a result they easily complete one another. Do not separate them for too long. Ok, no more jokes. Unfortunately, he wasn’t born with a guitar in his hands, although he plays so precisely and gently and listens to his instrument in such a way that this option was quite possible but he just started mastering his instrument when he was 11. Quite some time ago and, what is more, the lesson has been well done. I actually should be thrilled how it will look like in another 10 years if now he can make such an impression.



Stína has followed her passion to Icelandic music as a music journalist since 2010. She joined then a writing team of Muzyka Islandzka - a Polish website dedicated to Icelandic music. Spreading her wings, Stína started her adventure with Icelandic language and moved to Reykjavík where she studied the language at the university. She also takes an active part in life of the local music scene. Since 2014 Stína had run a music blog that was transformed in 2017 into a printed magazine on Icelandic music.

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