For me, 1860 is a breathe of indie-folk fresh air. Constant melodies that capture the energy of the music without having to over use dominant banjos or volcanic-like explosive choruses that out live the song itself. 1860 does a great job of focusing on the composition of the song and each track tends to have it’s own consistently strong presence.
What started out as a side project in 2010 by Ottar G. Birgisson and Hlynur Juni Hallgrimsson, has become a 5 piece full time gig with Hlynur Hallgrímsson on vocals and mandolin, Ottar G. Birgisson on vocals and acoustic guitar, Johann Runar Thorgeirsson with the electric guitar, Gunnar Jonsson on electric bass and vocals, and Andri Bjartur Jakobsson on drums and percussions. All members of the band are known for adding instruments and innovating new ways to create sounds.
On 1860’s first album, Sagen, the band displays variety while notching out their own vibe in the indie-folk genre. Tracks like Orðsending að austan have lively guitar on the upswing, piping on the high end, and smooth vocals throughout, and other tracks like Love & Lime have a homey feeling of such bands like the french chanteurs Revolver, reminiscent of sitting around the house playing music with friends. I wasn’t able to embed the video, but I suggest you check out this: Love and Lime
I also have to give nod to the song, Snæfellsnes, it’s a great track, and any song about the area I dream to retire to deserves recognition.
On July 30th, their new album, Artificial Daylight will officially be released to the masses. Two singles from the album are available on Gogoyoko and Soundcloud, and the album will be available at Gogoyoko and Icelandmusic.com on July 30th. While the tracks available are less folk and more indie, the solid melody and strong vocals I dug in the first are very much present. as well as on Gogoyoko, the tracks are available on Soundcloud. I truly believe this is going to be an incredible successful album, you heard it here first.
1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves, or Icelandic joint to jam at? We’re pretty laid back guys, so we play a lot of shows at Café Rosenberg on Klapparstígur. It has a really nice mellow vibe to it. Faktorý is also wonderful, but now it’s gonna be leveled to the ground to build a hotel. Which sucks.
2. 2. If you combine all of your favorite colors (for you, add your bandmates if you would), what do you get? Cosmic latte, for sure. The average colour of the universe.
3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin? We are going to name three amazing bands that were huge but are little known outside of Iceland today: Mánar, Trúbrot og Jet Black Joe
4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song? Awesome question! We have to go with Treebeard from the Lord of the Rings singing “Leikur að Vonum” by Mánar (an incredible Icelandic 70s song about brotherly love conquering hate)… either that or Van Morrison’s “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”.