Keeping a finger on the pulse

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Sisterhood of Reykjavík

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… Keep Reading


Spin the full circle with Ceasetone

I can actually still sign with all my limbs under emotions I expressed after the evening that I saw an indie-electro-rock band Ceasetone in action at Loft Hostel the first time although it has been one year since then. Now, at the same venue I was offered to watch a premiere screening of the video for the song entitled The Bright Side that by the way was produced by no one else than the guitarist, singer and brain of Ceasetone – Hafsteinn Þráinsson. Ceasetone was formed in 2012 as an acoustic solo project of Hafsteinn and two years later expanded a big rich sound escaping sometimes into experimental and jazzy soundscapes performed by four piece that consists of young and talented musicians – Hafsteinn was joined by Sólrún Mjöll Kjartansdóttir on drums, Jökull Brynjarsson on synths and keyboard and Steinar Karlsson on bass. The band is actively preparing to release… Keep Reading


Walking down the street with Mínus

Decluttering can be sometimes a good thing. Especially when you find a sheet of paper with 10 names of Icelandic bands that you must see some day and the first on this list is… Mínus. Once I read they were a separate chapter in the history of Icelandic rock music. Or maybe I should say they still are? The band was formed as a five-piece in the fall of 1998 and inspired by bands like Converge or Dillinger Escape Plan turned quickly into a giant of Icelandic hardcore music scene. Now, 18 years later I´m still waiting for their next (fifth in the career) album that was recorded at Kolsstaðir in 2010 and supposed to be released in November the same year but apparently karma didn´t allow this to happen. Maybe it´s hopeless since we have 2016 but I still believe that one day I will see them live for… Keep Reading


This mess Útidúr has been doing

I miss summer. I miss brigthness that doesn´t allow darkness to appear. You can feel life everywhere and simply you want to do everything. Additionally, summer smells like another bands blossoming on the local scene. Smells like Útidúr that was formed in 2009 in Reykjavík. Its fathers are the singer and guitarist Gunnar Örn Egilsson, who sounds like Icelandic version of Zach Condon of Beirut, and talented keyboardist Kristinn Roach Gunnarsson. Definitely, this chamber-pop with a deep reaching vocal can touch a lot of sensitive hearts. Well, ok, I give up, I wouldn’t have sunk so deep into Icelandic music if I didn’t hear of Útidúr. Since the beginning of my adventure with Útidúr, they have released another album, jaggled members a bit and still remains one of those precious special bands. They have made quite a good mess on Icelandic music scene. This almost little orchestra started with a… Keep Reading


God’s lonely man – Pétur Ben

For actually a few years I haven’t celebrated Easter but Aldrei Fór Ég Suður festival in West Fjords instead. Of course, my luck hasn’t let me also last year to end up in Ísafjörður in person (maybe 2016?) but at least it reminded me how I discovered one of the most impressive and estimable artists of Iceland. Believe me, watching an annual broadcast of all the performances of Aldrei Fór Ég Suður while sitting in not too comfortable chair is probably not the best idea so it happened I had a nap. But can you imagine that you are waking up to the sounds that knock your socks off? Then I didn’t know who was performing with that entire band but I found out quite quick that his name is Pétur. Pétur Ben. After several years of following this artist I have to admit one thing – whatever Pétur Ben… Keep Reading


Who´s that Sindri boy?

Once upon a time I almost ended up learning Swedish instead of Icelandic but then turned out that my way is rather towards engineering. Six years later I was watching a Swedish movie and they were talking over and over again about some pojke. I had no clue what this word means and the only one thing that was coming to my mind then was name of Sindri Már Sigfússon, one of the most extraordinary Icelandic folk musicians in recent years. Well, seems like to fully understand Icelandic music you need a basic understandment of Swedish. A piece of cake when you are aware that he spent part of his childhood in Sweden. Apparently, I wasn’t one of the enlightened by that time. Just to make it clear, pojke means boy, I figured out eventually. About 3 years ago Sindri created his another side project called Pojke to indulge himself… Keep Reading


Princesses that puke in a glittery way – Æla

Another dreary day at work. I’m getting a text message: ‘Wanna join me for Æla’s gig?‘ so I’m jumping out early from work. Trying my best in shaking a leg, I can already hear their post-punk sound on my way, carried on Laugavegur. Joyously I’m noticing I’m not the only one who hurries up so I could finally sink in the twilight of the most famous venue in downtown – Kaffibarinn. The door opens and the sound is sucking me in. ‘You’re lucky, they had to wait for the bassist, it’s already the third song‘ – was said in my ear. I feel like someone is puking on me with a brocade. Oh, that’s Snow White and her three naughty girlfriends are playing a show. They are called Æla which translates from Icelandic literally as puke. And no, they are not girls, the show of those guys doesn’t fully exist… Keep Reading


1860 shelters me from daylight

Brace yourself, winter is coming so we need cheerful music! That reminded me the way how my adventure with a merry folk band called 1860 started. Imagine that yesterday was an epic blizzard – even Strætó got totally stuck, seriously – and before that, as a beginner, you thought people were joking about this crazy wind in Iceland. It had been such a beautiful weather for the last 2 weeks, right? Oh, how naive I was… Such surprising conditions outside didn’t really convince you to go out but your friend did that. What can change your mind faster and in more fabulous way than music recommendation from your lovely friends that know Icelandic music scene like the back of their hand? So here’s rule no. 1: if your Icelandic friend that is involved into the local music scene tells you to check out some band, just do it! He or she knows probably… Keep Reading


Snorri Helgason will make your morning coffee

I was made in the mountains. I had spent there summer vacations for at least 13 years so when I close my eyes I can hear music that would suit perfectly to that surrounding. There, in my aunt’s garden at the end of the village are bushes of rose, raspberry and redcurrant. And two apple trees because the third one was knocked down by the storm once. So in my imagination I put on rain boots and with a cup of good coffee in my hand I walk to the garden and sit under the apple tree. And what can I hear? Music by folk singer-songwritter called Snorri Helgason. Look, morning dew is shining in a soft sunlight. I discovered works of Snorri Helgason a few years ago when he turned out to be a surprise guest at a student festival in Cracow. Almost nobody then heard about him in… Keep Reading


Stories from another world by Árstíðir

Árstíðir resounds best in small and intimate spaces. Therefore Cafe Rosenberg located in Reykjavík downtown seems to be an ideal venue for this kind of event and the band is totally aware of that. No wonder, since founding the band in 2008 the team has given there their most important performances. In the end vocal harmonies and acoustic sound suit so well to this place. I´m still not sure if I can find proper words to describe the official release concert of Hvel with a pretty good band Hinemoa as a warming-up act that took place there, at Cafe Rosenberg, on October 3rd in front of a packed audience. I like the way you tell stories, they move me to another world (Mér líkar svo vel hvernig þú segir sögur, þær flytja mig í annan heim) – with those words Gunnar Már Jakobsson started the show, playing a baritone guitar… Keep Reading

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