Monthly Archives: June 2018

FM Belfast – Island Broadcast review

FM belfast is by far my favorite dance band to see live.  I’ve jumped up and down and picked confetti out of my hair for over 8 years watching this super-group of musicians and they’ve never let down.  Their 4th album, “Island Broadcast,” delivers that party feel and has quickly become my second favorite album of theirs, only slightly behind “How to make friends.”

The beats on the album are much more energized and dance-able than “Brighter days,” but there is a strong undertow of reality with the lyrics, creating a unique contrast that solidifies the album.  Each song on the album is it’s own story of growing old but not growing up, holding your head above water and encouraging others to do the same, and spending what little time we have on this rock enjoying where you are and what you have.

While I could go through and describe what I felt track by track, I’d rather just highlight a few of my favorites and post videos so you can make up your own mind.  The only official video I could find for songs on the album is the album opener “All My Power.”  A back and forth of two folks, one who feels guilty, the other the reason why:

My favorite track on the album by far is “The Game”

“You’re so pretty” began as a short story written by Lóa about aging restlessness.

And “Fearless Youth” was written by  Örvar Smárason and is a tribute to youth and friends of the past.

I asked Lóa a few questions and she was nice enough to answer, here they be:

  1. As a whole, the music on the album is a lot more lively than on Brighter Days, and yet  the lyrics are some of the most pensive and serious out of your albums.  Was this contrast intentional?

The contrast was not intentional no, unless Árni meant it to be so and forgot to tell me. I don’t know why the album is more lively. Maybe because we finally realize that we have nothing to lose. The track Strobe for instance is just a rave mantra to dance to. It’s not necessarily a logical track to be on the album but I don’t care about things like that anymore. Trying to do what you think people want you to do is futile.

  1. Throughout the album, there is a “them” that you seem to rally against.  Is there a single entity that is “them”, or are they different song for song?

“Them and they” usually means some force or people who are more powerful than you and control something in your life or want to control you. It’s not about anyone in particular, it’s more about trying to stay sane in our strange world.

  1. The voices in my head really appreciated “Agent” as they feel it is their rallying cry for working together to make me resemble somewhat of a normal human being? But for normal folks, who’s being encouraged in the song?

You and me are being encouraged. Because we feel like we are so powerless when in fact there are so many of us who feel the same way. I like to believe that most people are nice, if they weren’t the world wouldn’t function.  I’d also like to send my greetings to the voices in your head.

  1. How personal is this album to you?  There seems to be a lot of reflection of where the characters in the songs have been, where they are, and where they hope to be.

It’s personal on many levels. We write the lyrics together most of the time so it’s a bit of a puzzle and it means different things to us. For me I’m having a bit of a crisis of what I should do now. I don’t have a plan but for some reason I keep coming back to the idea of having chicken in a backyard and grow vegetables.

  1. In the Game, who are you taking the blame for, who has no shame?  And what is this bright light you speak of?

All of us take the blame for the people in power. The bright light is about hope and the weird need to believe in something or someone. For me it’s kind of a cry for a decent politician coming out of the woods to save us. I’m not a religious person and I’ve kind of lost hope in politics but there’s always a part of me that is hoping for some kind of female Che Guevara… ok this sound stupid but sincerity will do that to you.

Island Broadcast is available digitally, on vinyl, and on CD.  It’s available on Spotify, and if you want to purchase it any of your digital outlets should have it.  The vinyl and CD are available via their website.  Follow them on Facebook and and Instagram to be notified of touring dates and events.  You can also see the concert photos I’ve taken here:











Icelandic Bands of Iceland Airwaves 2018

We’ve had three announcements so far and a lot of really good acts are coming to the 20th anniversary of Iceland Airwaves 2018.  It’s under new management so there are probably surprises coming our way as well.  Either way it’s always a good time to learn about new bands, see bands you really dig, and enjoy Reykjavik and surrounding areas.

Not only do Iceland Airwaves tickets more expensive as we get closer, but your options for housing becomes greatly reduced and expensive the closer it gets to the festival. I highly suggest buying sooner than later for the festival.

You can see my past Airwaves photos here, and my tips for a pleasant Airwaves as well.

Once again I’m doing a loosely sorted cheat sheet for the Icelandic bands playing the festival.  I will update the page as new announcements come through so you may want to bookmark it for future reference. Out of the 122 bands announced so far, 67 are Icelandic. There are veteran bands playing, but there are a lot of new artists as well.  To See the full line-up of all the artists click here.

With Icelandic bands it can always be hard to categorize their music styles as one of the greatest things about them is their ability to snag and grab their favorite things from all over the musical spectrum and make it work for them. So these lists are just general nods in the direction you may be looking for, for example, the Dance table, they sit right on the edge of electronic and dance pop/rock and beats. But I tried to focus on the prominence of a lead singer and the beats of the bulk of their songs in deciding which side to place them.

At the bottom you will also find the Spotify playlist for the entire festival.

Categorizing some bands can be extremely difficult as they run borders are freely through genres, so if you feel a band needs to be moved into a different category let me know and I’ll change it.

Rock / Pop / Singer/Songwriter / Indie / Dance
Agent Fresco Amabadama Ateria Auður
Axel Flóvent BeeBee & the Bluebirds Berndsen Between Mountains
Birgir BRÍET Ceasetone Daði Freyr
Einarindra Hildur Himbrimi Hinemoa
Högni Júníus Meyvant Karitas Kiryama Family
Ljósfari Máni Orrason Mighty Bear Mórókóar
Mr. Silla Munster Ólafur Arnalds Shakes
Snorri Helgason Sóley Svala Sycamore Tree
Sykur Teitur Magnússon Una Stef Valdimar
Var Vio Vök Warmland
Ylja Young Karin
Punk / Metal / Hardcore / Garage Rock / Prog Rock
Future Figment Glerakur Hatari Hórmónar
Mammút Pink Street Boys Ring of Gyges Rythmatik
Hip-Hop / Trap / R&B / Rap
AFK Birnir Cyber Emmsjé Gauti
Floni GKR Joey Christ JóiPé x Króli
Kött Grá Pje Logi Pedro Sturla Atlas Úlfur Úlfur
Electronic / DJ / Atmospheric / Experimental
Andartak Hugar