A birthday track made by a couple, for a friend, became the beginnings of a snowball gradually gaining speed and size, rolling it’s way through dance floors, festivals, and bar venues taking peoples’ pants in return for lively gigs that feel more like all encompassing parties; this, is the FM Belfast I’ve experienced.
This post was done out of my chaotic order as they are playing Great Scott in Allston (Boston) on Feb. 28th. I always get excited when an Icelandic band comes to Boston, but FM Belfast is famous for putting on amazing live shows anywhere they play. They have an incredible knack for feeding off the energy of a crowd, creating their own energy, and turning any environment into a party. I tried to find clips of live shows, but I honestly feel that you thumbing through this 47 minute set would probably give you a better idea of what to expect:
according to legend, and their website. A couple, Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir, put together a birthday song for a friend. As music things typically do, it got around and eventually more music was created by it. The band expanded, and now includes players from a slew of great Icelandic bands, such as Borko, Retro Stefson, Múm, and Benni Hemm Hemm. Depending on who’s available and what they are doing the roster can change from 3 to 11 players and that adaptability and keen sense for a good mood is what makes going to one of their gig’s absolutely worth it.
Before going into just how great the first time I saw them was, I feel there needs to be a little discography lesson and knowledge shared. They are witty and have no lack of catchy tunes. On How to make friends, there is a keyboard playing monkey named Pedro being Tropical, a warped drunken-like version of the classic Pump up the jam, motivational songs about being President, and of course, one of their most popular songs about being Icelandic and running down the street in their Underwear.The band actually put together a lo-fi video for the song Underwear, I have to admit it cracks me up:
The newest album, Don’t want to sleep, still carries on the dance beat, but the lyrics get more serious, but not too serious. You still have fantastic songs about learning American, and not wanting to go to sleep either. But you also get darker dance beats and more mature sounding tracks like In Line, and Happy winter. In line is actually my favorite track off of the album.
Lóa Hjálmtýsdóttir was kind enough to answer my 4 questions:
1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves joint to jam at? My favorite off venue last year was KEX hostel.
2. If you combine all of the band’s favorite colors what do you get? To start with, one of our bandmate has the favorite colors Neon Green and Burgundy red so I think the combo will always turn out to be pretty diarrhetic. Mine is a gray purplish sort of blue, I have a pen with that color and it’s called Cornflower. One bandmate doesn’t know and I can’t be bothered to call the rest of the guys. But like I said, the end result will be brown.
4. If you could be any creatures playing your favorite song, what would you be, and what song? It would be a really big crow singing Smog’s song Feather by Feather.
You can learn more about them on their website. Gogoyoko actually has a lot of remixes, and their full length albums, so I would suggest going and giving them a listen. And of course they are on Facebook.
Sindri Már Sigfússon, Sin Fang, may very well deserve the hardest working musician award for last year’s Iceland Airwaves festival. I swear that man was playing everywhere I turned, on top of that, he was also seen exhibiting his artwork leaving me to believe he cloned himself to be at multiple places at once. Part of Seabear, Sin Fang originally solo’d as Sin Fang Bous before dropping the Bous and becoming Sin Fang.
In 2011, Sin Fang released the first album I was privy to hear. Summer Echos, Excellent production and unique vocals, combined with somber lyrics moved the listener along as if Sin Fang was directing the crowd through the fall into winter. One of the great singles from the album, Because of the Blood also has one of my favorite videos:
And while Summer Echos feels like he’s leading you into winter, the newest album, Flowers, begins with the lively anthem-ish Young boysleading you out of winter into spring. Young boys, with it’s Vibrant, upbeat, and stronger, more precise vocals, cues the listener for the energetic ride they are about to take. Young boys and Not enough are definitely recommended, but to me, the absolute solid treat on the album is Look at the light. The arrangement, vocals and overall feel of the song is just perfect for my current state of mind. Luckily for me, and you, he just released a video for it:
Flowers was produced by Alex Somers of Parachutes and Jónsi and Alex fame. And it’s apparent in the upbeat drumming and great vocal quality found in the album. It’s too early in the year, but honestly of all the new stuff I’ve been listening to, I keep coming back to Flowers for my commute, it is definitely in the running to be one of the best things of 2013.