Keeping a finger on the pulse

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Thought Spun of Myrra Rós

The music of Icelandic singer-songwriter Myrra Rós calls for a proper deep listening while you are sinking into a comfortable armchair in front of a fireplace. Her soft voice has followed me for more than the last eight years and each time, her album reveals further atmospherical soundscapes. Establishing herself in the international market, the artist actually plays more often in European countries than in Iceland. As Myrra’s latest record was released in January 2019, the next opportunity to hear live those brand new seven soothing songs is getting closer. Pursuing her solo career, Myrra Rós creates cohesive albums, and Thought Spun spreads a hypnotic atmosphere. No wonder that with her previous involvement in post-rock bands as Andvari and VAR, enigmatic soundscapes are what she is deft at. The album opens with ‘Red thread’, quite a dark and simple intro which points out the emotionally-rich path of lyrics that delve… Keep Reading

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Rauður – Semilunar

Semilunar is a very conscious solo debut of Rauður, an artist present on the Icelandic scene for many years. The album is filled with Scandinavian melancholy, coherent but not lacking in experimental trips. It displays a rich diversity of emotions, and although it sounds dreamy and gentle (most of it), it radiates with great power, awesome in vocals, composition and timbre. It premiered on the 11th of October. Rauður (Icelandic for ‘red’ or ‘ginger’) is a stage alias of Auður Viðarsdóttir. The artist lived until recently in a little town in southern Sweden. There, in her domestic studio, she worked on compositions that eventually came together into a whole album. The pieces, composed through the last few years, were recorded in various places throughout Sweden and in Iceland, where she lives at the moment, at the Dungeon Studio in Reykjavik, where Auður returned this year. Auður recalls starting up her… Keep Reading

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Is anybody listening? Interview with Cell7

Words by Stína Satanía Photo by Arnþór Birkisson Ragna Kjartansdóttir, who creates music under the name Cell7, is a well-known rapper in her country of Iceland, far away in the windy north. With her sophomore solo album, Is Anybody Listening?, she doesn’t come back from a break. She’s been on this battlefield for 20 years. She owns it, from being in Iceland’s history-changing band Subterranean, to doing her sound engineering job, and last but not least, to being a non-compromising solo artist. Stína talked to her about her Icelandic rap roots and stepping out of her comfort zone in music. From Kriss Kross to Subterranean ‘I think I was twelve when I started to listen to Michael Jackson. Back then, there was also this band called Kris Kross. Do you remember them?’ she asks. She wanted to be like them, so that’s how she got into rap and hip hop.… Keep Reading

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New release: Sunna Margrét

December 17th, the Icelandic producer, singer and visual artist Sunna Margrét has released her 5-track experimental-ambient-braindance-electronica Kraumur Awards winning EP Art of History. The EP is available exclusively through Reykjavík Record Shop and No Salad Records, and finally from today on you can give it a listen on the streaming services (check it out on Spotify). Co-released between her oceanic hometown of Reykjavik, Iceland, and her current alpine home base in Lausanne, Switzerland, Art of History brings together distant dreams of elvish druids and lo-fi beats of a contemporary urban woman. Sunna Margrét brings to the stage the narrative of distant dreams filled with the echoes of contemporary female superheroes and crooked talking mushrooms. She is known for her sensorial, atmospheric and emotive live shows, pinned together with her passion for performance art. Her shows encompass installation and visual projections, mapping the stage with stimulating images that reflect the mood… Keep Reading

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Love (lust and greed) in the time of Great Grief

Words by Stína Satanía There are albums that smack you straight in the face. It felt like that the first time I listened to Love, Lust and Greed by Icelandic hardcore quartet Great Grief. They have been out there since 2013 and are one of those bands that, despite touring all over Iceland, might deliver it even better abroad than in their own backyard. Since they have spread their energy across the Atlantic, it should come as no surprise that the band dropped their long-awaited debut album on 7 December 2018 under the banner of Los Angeles based No Sleep Records. The album starts off at high speed and goes full throttle with emotion. This is what Great Grief have become known for in the local music scene. They deliver intense, profound live performances that translate into impassioned albums that almost push them over the top. The band touches on… Keep Reading

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Skaði

Photo by Gustavo Marcelo Blanco If there’s one artist in Reykjavík who, with her stage performance, can wake me up better than a triple espresso and in less time than one song, it’s Skaði. Dipping her toes in Nordic mythology from where she took her name (a goddess associated with winter), Skaði is a music producer, an outstanding and captivating performer and a visual artist. Whatever she does in any art field, she pours her entire heart and soul into it. She dropped her debut album in November 2018 in the form of an old-school cassette as befits the underground FALK (Fuck Art Let’s Kill) label that released it. On Jammið, the message is strong, and Skaði plays all the instruments by herself. The album reveals expected grime electro-punk beats that dissolve into a mesmerizing bass as well as the somewhat avant-garde guitar lines that wind around the song’s cores.… Keep Reading

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Taking stock of old-time rock

Words by Andreas Schiffmann Strictly speaking, bass player Alexander Örn is not a founding member of The Vintage Caravan. He came into the picture in 2012, after frontman Óskar Logi Ágústsson and drummer Guðjón Reynisson had already released their self-titled debut on their own, before domestic label Sena took them under its wing. But he knows very well what happened before he came into the fold and experienced the trio’s quick rise to international renown, with his role in the group’s success being just as significant as those of his two companions. Since a good decade has passed, now is probably a good moment to lean back and assess what has happened so far and predict what the future might have in store for the Álftanes-based classic rockers. Regarding the suggestion that on the tenth anniversary of the conception of The Vintage Caravan’s rare first effort, it might be time… Keep Reading

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Rokkað á Hvanneyri

(Pistillinn var skrifaður fyrir Tengivagninn á Rás1 og birtist þar, miðvikudaginn 14. ágúst 2019.) Falið í Borgarbyggð með tæplega 300 íbúa – sko, Hvanneyri hefur ekki haft mikið vægi í mínum huga, sérstaklega ekki þegar kemur að tónlist. En sjálfboðaliðasamtökin Stelpur Rokka! hafa svo sannarlega breytt þessari ímynd! Ásamt erlendum samstarfsaðilum völdu þau alþjóðlegum rokkbúðum stað í Landbúnaðarháskóla Íslands á Hvanneyri. Þann 10. águst náði þessi 98-manna hópur með fólki frá 10 löndum og 11 samtökum hæsta punkti með lokatónleikum í gömlu hlöðunni á Hvanneyri. Flestir þátttakendur spiluðu á hljóðfæri sem þeir höfðu ekki spilað á, áður en þeir tóku þátt í rokkbúðunum og voru varla viku að læra á þau. Bæði stigu þeir á svið í fyrsta skipti á ævinni og spiluðu fyrir rúmlega 100 áhorfendur, líka í fyrsta sinn. Hjarta mitt stækkaði um nokkur númer á meðan ég var að horfa á þessa epísku tónleika og vikan á… Keep Reading

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What 2019 has brought in

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that the 5th issue of Reykjavík On Stage will not arrive in a printed form in 2019 and Reykjavík On Stage will stop functioning as a printed magazine. Due to personal reasons, the publication is no longer able to be secured. For the last 5 years, Reykjavík On Stage has been an ever-changing music space born of the passion for the Icelandic music scene. It had been a simple blog with live reviews. It had been a printed magazine. I have poured all my heart into this, no matter of various consequences. Now, Reykjavík On Stage is not walking off the stage. It is transforming again, this time into website dedicated to Icelandic music. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you need any kind of information about the local scene or if you think you… Keep Reading

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Lucy In Blue – In Flight

Words by Andreas Schiffmann With regard to Lucy In Blue, you find yourself once again seeing practically all the confirmed stereotypes that accompany contemporary music from Iceland but in a good way. The group’s current album sounds far removed from the world (otherworldly in the truest sense of the word) with its chill overall aesthetics that seem to be aimed at the ever-growing audience for what is generally–and vaguely–called ‘post-rock’. By now, while one struggles to pinpoint what this term actually means, it’s safe to say that it encompasses a certain aloofness or distance, which is also palpable on In Flight. The band’s primary trademarks might be the androgynous lead vocals and often downright grandiose organ arrangements. In contrast, however, the band writes in a relatively straightforward way, resulting in songs which rarely surpass the five-minute mark. After the aptly named introduction ‘Alight, Pt. 1’, a rather tranquil take-off for… Keep Reading

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