Keeping a finger on the pulse

Interview

Nostalgic boys or explosive musicians? Lucy In Blue Q&A

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‘We’re just nostalgic boys, rarely connecting with the current trends in popular music. We just wanted to make some rock and roll, but with a dynamic flow and sophistication’ describe themselves Lucy In Blue, a rock quartet formed in 2013 by Arnaldur Ingi Jónsson (keys, vocals), Steinþór Bjarni Gíslason (guitar, vocals), Matthías Hlífar Mogensen (bass) and Kolbeinn Þórsson (drums). A few months after the formation of the band they took the stage by storm at the annual young talents music contest Músíktilraunir and got the 2nd place. No doubt, one can’t resist their explosive pure joy of live performance. 2019 was favourable to Lucy In Blue. Their sophomore album, In Flight, went out on 12th April that year via Norwegian label Karisma Records. Its release show took place at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands, as the band’s potential was noticed by Walter Hoeijmakers, the artistic director of the festival. The…

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GYDA Q&A

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Gyða Valtýsdóttir rose to prominence with electronic experimentalists múm, the lauded Icelandic group that led the charge in the country’s fertile underground scene in the early 2000s and rightfully gained international recognition. She left the band to pursue her studies as a cellist, and in 2017, she released the album Epicycle with her unique interpretations that reach into the core of music. Evolution, her sophomore solo album, released in 2018 and co-produced by Alex Somers, features original compositions and many remarkable collaborators. Bartek Wilk takes a look into the unique sonic landscape of GYDA’s Evolution. BW: To start, I would like to ask about your relationship with the cello. When did it appear in your life? Was it your first love? Was it a reciprocal one? GV: I started playing the cello at the age of 7. I knew nothing about it, but my older sister told me that it…

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(We) Made (God) in China

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Iceland’s post-metal and post-rock veterans, We Made God, celebrated 15 years in the business last year. The band’s main man and songwriter, Magnús Bjarni Gröndal, and the band’s fresh blood, guitarist Rúnar Sveinsson, discuss their long history in the local music market and their tour in China in December 2018. I can’t deny that albums released on my birthday are kind of special to me. And Beyond the Pale by We Made God, the band’s third full-length recording that was released in May 2018, is no exception. Although they might not seem to have been very active on the local scene lately, their position in the Icelandic music scene has remained steady. We Made God are notable for infusing picturesque and spacious sonic landscapes with post-hardcore elements, soaring guitars and emotive vocals, as their China tour in December 2018 underlined. If you enjoy the melodic sensibilities of Deftones and the…

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Is anybody listening? Interview with Cell7

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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.…

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Taking stock of old-time rock

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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…

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Airplanes, Spaceships, and Sparkling Poison, Oh My! – A Conversation with Steinunn Harðardóttir

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Words by Jeff Obermeyer When you tell people you’re going to be interviewing Steinunn Harðardóttir, they immediately begin to sing her praises. Her partner in the Sparkle Poison musical experience, Guðlaug Mía Eyþórsdóttir, told me, ‘I’ve worked with all kinds of people but Steinunn is one of the most gentle and giving people I have ever gotten to know. She has a special way of seeing the positive sides of things and a unique quality of showing you sides of the world around you and yourself that you might be unaware of!’ Gunnar Lárus Hjálmarsson, a.k.a. Dr. Gunni, agreed. ‘I have nothing but praise for Steinunn,’ he told me. ‘She is just a wonderful human being and it was effortless and fun working with her. She lights up every room with her positivity.’ The common thread is that not only is she a talented musician, she’s also a pretty great…

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