Keeping a finger on the pulse

Myrra Rós

Sisterhood of Reykjavík

in Live by

In the evening of April 13th an unusual concert took place at Loft Hostel. Three good friends joined their forces and together, armed only with guitars, created a delicate mood and almost family atmosphere. On the stage each of them charms with a voice, though they are so different from each other. Ladies and gentlemen – Myrra Rós, Halla Norðfjörð and Elín Ey. Music of those three young women has been familiar to me for some longer time. Their united performance made tears well up in my eyes.

A singer/songwriter that came up first on the stage that night was Myrra Rós backed by her friend Pete Uhlenbruch that also delights people with his solo project Owls Of The Swamp. Myrra enchants listeners not only in Iceland, but also in continental Europe. She has been on friendly terms with her guitar since she was 20 and had taken active part in two post-rock projects called Andvari and VAR. So far the artist released two solo albums – in 2012 Kveldúlfur and One Amongst Others that was out in fall 2015. A material from the second one was gracefully presented by Myrra this Wednesday evening. Subtle sounds of dreamy folk pop and the delicate atmosphere during enthralling shows are the domain of Myrra, the girl with ethereal and soft voice like a breeze running in between small leaves. There is nothing else to do except just enjoying the moment, space in sound and completeness of new compositions such as Brother, Don’t Give Up or Dark Horse. Nothing more, nothing less. Myrra simply captivates with her naturalness and warmth.

The next in line to the stage of Loft Hostel was Halla Norðfjörð. She plays guitar during her live performances (but can play many other instruments except that) and there is something so charming and impressive in her finger-picking technique that I held my breath. Some songs like When I Go, Maybe were played and Halla performed also some Icelandic compositions like Glóð. Moreover, the artist played the cover of Joy DivisionLove Will Tear Us Apart – as the capstone of her set. The last time I heard her was more than 3,5 years ago (this lady played over 60 gigs in Poland!). A lot has changed since then. The musician released, finally, in 2014 her debut album entitled The Bridge but she still gives priority to simplicity and frugality of sounds that makes her concerts very intimate. While she was playing the first notes of the title song of the album I felt on my face warm autumnal sun like the day that I first time heard this song on Halla Norðfjörð’s EP (she has Tip Tap EP and When I Go EP to her credits). So soothing and alluring sound. Additionally, the girl has a heart-warming smooth voice that is like a balm to my heart.

In the end was the turn of charismatic Elín Ey known not only from her solo career in folk music, but also from the band Sísý Ey. She is currently working on her second solo album that is already recorded and will be released this summer. Elín revealed, at the beginning, some new material and presented a song that she just composed – with the title Andvaka (Insomnia). Her first album entitled See You In Dreamland Elín was released in 2008 so let´s face it, she has a good experience on a stage – nearly a decade. In the meantime, she has worked with various musicians both in Iceland and abroad in the US and Europe. Her full and magnificient voice and own songs sung both in Icelandic and English from the depths of her soul make impression. There is some inner strength radiating from this artist.

Myrra, Halla and Elín ended the night with the cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game crowning this melancholic evening with a lovely harmony of those three voices that are so different from each other but captivate the listener as one. Surely that show it was possible to recharge with beautiful sounds in the atmosphere of mutual respect and sisterly love. So it was worth to get to the concert even if it was in the middle of the week.

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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