Keeping a finger on the pulse

Nolo

Keep on fighting, Nolo!

in Live by

Enough is enough. Banish the winter blues from your home, fill up your glass with a delicious cocktail and do not forget about a colorful and joyful straw. Brighter days are coming and we are gonna celebrate them. Together with Nolo. Can you already smell summer in the air? I can and it provokes good memories.

Nolo is a 80s electronic synth pop-rock duo created by Ívar Björnsson and Jón Gabríel Lorange. The band was founded in 2009 so let’s not forget that the guys are quite experienced. For me, they will always glow with this shiny summerish sound as I reconsidered my feelings for them the first months after I came to Iceland (sunshine, warmth, no wind…!?). In the old days in 2011 I thought Nolo just creates cheerful melodies that are a good background for careless jumping in puddles right after it stopped raining, when the sun is smiling again like crazy. You know, psychedelic guitars, synths, then drum machine and vocals that altogether make impression that the music was definitely not created in this decade but rather in 1980s. Step by step the band has evolved. From home recording for fun to arriving on a stage with all the equipment. I remember when I saw Nolo for the very first time performing with a drummer. They used then an electric bass instead of synths, bass piano and guitars. Those golden times when Faktorý was the best concert venue in the town, ah…

Nolo – Taxi – myndband from Icelandic Film School on Vimeo.

Since then have passed almost 2 years and Nolo prepared another surprise for me. For some time they have had a brilliant guest joining them on stage during shows. Normally, I wouldn’t probably care but the longer you explore Icelandic music the more you actually realize that every single musician has his very own and specific sonic language so after some time you unconsciously know what to expect from collaborations (and they are still capable to blow your mind…). That is why I paid more attention when I noticed that remarkable Höskuldur Eiríksson joins the Nolo‘s team for live performances and finally on April 9th at Húrra I had the possibility to fully experience Nolo in a new good shape.

Nolo from Menningarmidlun on Vimeo.

Their songs are earworms and will follow and haunt you as soon as you will hear the first catchy melody from them. That night the musicians presented refreshed arrangements of their older and newer songs. I really don’t have to say twice I don’t mind listening to bass synths but there’s nothing I can appreciate more than a real bass guitar, drums and guitars. More joy? Here you go. You could hear and see that members of Nolo were clearly enjoying themselves at the same time celebrating sonic freedom they seem to give each other. Usually quite fuzzy sound was this time held in frames of specific strong rhythm of skilfully diversified drums’ paths. What a nice change with this new lightness in the songs! The set included such songs like Steel, Stuck on a mind driven by synths line, sunny Passion, Hombre or Romeo. Pleasant almost jazzy elements slipped into the songs as well as crazy and insane strong drum actions. Nice touch.

Well, what else could you expect from Nolo? Please, don’t dig too deep looking for any ideology. It’s all about entertainment and fun so just listen to their music and chill out. The band creates joy out of what they like to do and, moreover, they spread this joy. So grab a pinch of happiness if you want to!

Nolo from Inspired By Iceland on Vimeo.

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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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