Most of us were introduced to Amiina when the quartet went gigging across the globe with Sigur Rós. Now a 6 piece, Amiina consists of the original 4; Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir, Hildur Ársælsdóttir, Sólrún Sumarliðadóttir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir and two male members, Magnús Trygvason Eliassen and Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson.
Famous for their creative use of everything from saws to harpsichords, and the ability the members have in casually drifting from one instrument to the next in a single track, their music can be described as more of an atmosphere than sound. A serene, happy and peaceful atmosphere leaving the listener with a smile.
in 2007, Kurr was released. It was their first full length after their time with Sigur Rós and with ambiance and classical overtones it became a strong indicator that the band would have no issue standing on their own.
To me, one of the most fantastic things to come of that album was the collaboration with Lee Hazelwood on Hilli. This track was made more special as to the best of my knowledge, it’s the last thing Lee Hazelwood did before passing away. There is something cool in thinking about an old Okie-Louis boy who had worked with likes of Nancy Sinatra hanging his hat with a grin at the completion of this moving collaboration.
Puzzle, the second full length, strongly reminds me of driving across the mountainous deserts of Utah and Arizona at twilight with my hand sticking out the open window making waves. What are we waiting for? is one of my favorite tracks on the album, and tracks such as Sicsak really stick out with their heavier electronic presence. The album is heavier and more full, but that ambiance of peacefulness still shines through.
Amiina’s latest and greatest is the Lighthouse Project. Back in the day of their quartet, the band created a concert specifically designed to be played in Lighthouses. Fast forward a bit and the band resumed their quartet role and toured Iceland playing Lighthouse to Lighthouse. When they decided to record these Lighthouse versions of the songs, they recorded it concert style live in the studio to try and emulate that cozy concert feel.
You can learn more about the Lighthouse Project, as well as purchase it in different sets from their website. They have Puzzle and The Lighthouse Project on Gogoyoko if you would like to listen to the albums in their entirety, and of course you can always follow them on Facebook.
The band was very nice and answered my 4 questions, here are their answers:
1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves, or Icelandic joint to jam at? Well, there isnt really a place where you can jam at, but our favorite off-venue show was probably the one we did at a record shop called Havarí. That was a nice place. Sadly they had to close (like a lot of clubs and shops in Reykjavík these days…) but that show was great!
2. If you combine all of your favorite colors (for you, add your bandmates if you would), what do you get? Probably something out of this world, never before seen color. Or some kind of black reddish type of color. Or whatever. Colors are nice!
4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song. An eagle whistling Blue in Green by Miles Davis…