Tag Archives: sin fang

Sóley, Sin Fang, & Örvar Smárason at Bush Hall march 8th 2018

In 2017 Sóley, Sin Fang, & Örvar Smárason got together and decided to release one song a month for the entire year.  They ended the year with the vinyl, “Team Dreams,” which you can listen to here, and a performance at Sigur Rós’s Norður og Niður festival in Reykjavik.  Us that were not able attend were treated with a great New Year’s gift, as they announced they would be touring around Europe.  I was lucky enough to photograph the concert at Bush Hall in Shepard’s Bush London.

Combining three brilliant musicians can go all sorts of ways, but in typical Iceland fashion their uniqueness blended well, with obvious positive chemistry between all three.  They were slightly nervous as this was the first concert of the tour and only the second time they had played together, and while they kept mentioning this nervousness, it really didn’t show.

If you don’t want to read my babble you can click here to just go to the pics.

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite characteristics of Iceland musicians are their ability to remove the 4th wall.  And these three lived up to and surpassed that theory from the absolute beginning charming the audience with jokes, ambitions, and conversation.

38888808990_19c799a0b9_o

They supported themselves, each artists doing a 20 minute solo set before all joining on stage for the main event.  I had not seen Smárason’s solo material so I was pleased with this surprise.  After briefly chatting with the crowd as he set up apologized as he wasn’t going to chat through his set of ecclectic beats, and creative use of microphones.  He then performed 20 minutes of his new material giving us a preview of his first solo album, “light is liquid” which will be released via Morr Music on May 18th, check out his Facebook page for more details.

38888808210_cdca643231_o

Sin Fang was next, starting off with piano and eventually moving over to guitar a broad span of his catalog.  I’ve been watching Sin Fang since the days of duct taped microphone nests, and he never disappoints.  He even covered “teenage Spaceship” by Smog, which while the audience didn’t seem to know who Smog is, made me really happy.

38888804440_7d6656e8ff_o

After a brief intermission, Sóley came to the stage and proceeded to sing a good amount of material.  She told us stories of chocolate spoons being used to stir things, and mentioned that she would be the queen of the Theremin by next year, I’m holding her to that.

When the trio came on stage they were accompanied by Gylfi Sigurðsson of Retro Stefson fame.  I unfortunately didn’t get a good shot of him, but you can kind of see him in the photo below:

40699427121_5262c95a08_o(1)

There is still time to catch them on tour with 5 shows remaining, and I suggest you do,  I certainly wasn’t disappointed and doubt you will be either.  You can find out more about the tour dates, by following them on their individual Facebook pages and Instagram.

tourdates

 

 

Advertisements

You really should be at ATP in Iceland…

ATPIceland

Why go all the way to a continent straddling island for a music fest?  Perhaps because it’s at the old NATO base Ásbrú, perhaps because Iceland is really beautiful in the summer, and/or perhaps the fact that Portishead, Slowdive, Shellac, Interpol and Fuck Buttons, and all the other goody bands listed in the graphic above will be there.

This is the second ATP Iceland and combine it’s newness with their already selective process for music and you get a festival made just for music lovers.  Neil Young and Ólafur Arnalds will be doing ATP Takeover events near the city on days leading up to the festival, and the long weekend of the festival looks to be chocked full of music and mayhem.

There are movies, DJ sets, as well as the concerts, so if you get bored that’s your own fault.  The Icelandic music blog Rok Musik has a great post on the festival, and the folks over at Grapevine did a little Q&A with some of the artists coming up.  Get yer tix and we’ll see you there.

I have to put in a special plug, as not only is Pharmakon from Sacred Bones Records playing, but the guru of Sacred Bones himself, Caleb is DJ’ing a set in the DJ tent.  They are not Icelanders, but one of my favorite labels out of NY.

ATPICELANDgroup

**All pics pilfered via google image search

As this is an Icelandic music blog, or at least tries to be, I’ll forego my crushes and gushes for some of the non-Icelandic acts (Shell-Fukkin-Ac) and focus my admirations and infatuations on the Icelanders involved.

I put together a playlist on Soundcloud of the Icelandic bands playing, and I put videos down below for bands not really represented on Soundcloud.

HAM:

Singapore Sling:

It’s a mix of metal and electronics, all somewhat enjoyably on the heavy side.  Epic metal veterans HAM will be there, as well as Icelandic music 101 staples, For a Minor Reflection, MAMMÚT, Singapore Sling. and self described “dynamite rockers” Náttfari are performing.

Sóley is back from the time she took off for her family, and it wouldn’t be an Icelandic gig without Sin Fang doing something for the crowd.  The sweethearts of Pascal Pinon and Samaris are also doing a set, and one of the founders of the Bedroom community, Ben Frost, will be performing.  Captain Fufanu has nixed the Captain, so Fufanu will be entertaining the masses, and adding another artist to the list of musicians I haven’t seen previously, Kría Brekkan (formerly, like 8 years and a musical lifetime ago formerly, of múm) will also be there.

So yes, you should be in Iceland mid July for this awesome festival, I will be.  Learn more about it here.

This is the Playlist for all the bands, foreign and native alike:

spotify to follow soon.

 

 

Reykjavik Calling

RVKCALL

And there it was, Saturday night.  Taste of Iceland’s Reykjavik Calling in Cambridge, MA at the Middle East Club.  Three Icelandic bands acting as ambassadors of music coming together with two local bands to bring Boston a cross-cultural event.  Reyka Vodka supplied the alcohol, and a slew of Icelandic sponsors all helped in the event.

Hermigervill, or as he became known; Hamburgurville,  started the show off with a high energy set.  The  crowd was instantly sucked in as he danced right along with his set.  He gave a shout out to Reykjavik’s Harlem bar, as well as delivering a hip hop version of “Glugginn” by the old peace loving Icelandic hippies, Flowers.  near the end he gave another nod to the Icelandic Reggae band Ojba Rasta with a remix of “Jolly Good.”  The man rocks a theremin like nobody’s business.

hermghostHermigervill always performs with an incredible amount of energy, bobbing in and out to and fro with such speed and vigor it’s tough to snag a clear pic.  He was dead center when I hit the clicker on the ole camera, but only his ghostly remains were captured, he’s that quick.

There was so much energy in the crowd and on stage, so nobody could fault him as he attempted to squeeze one more in.  Unfortunately the powers that be stepped in, and that was that.

Next up, Boston locals Skinny Bones played.  A drum, a Guitar and a little Moog creating a pleasant set of shoe gazing rock.

sinfangerSin FangSindri Már Sigfússon, was next.  The crowd was in for it, as Sindri gave us samples of new bits as well as reworkings of old bits, while some bits stayed the same.  He was joined on stage by Skinny Bones for a collaborative version of “Young Boys.”

Speaking with Sindri before the show, he mentioned we can expect new music from him shortly, and of course he’ll be touring in the future.

The Love Experiment was next.  Dance, funk, jazz, soul….  Too many styles to list, all wrapped up in almost an hour of jamming on stage.  There seemed to be a bit of freestyle jamming going on, especially once Joined by Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson and Logi Pedro Stefánsson of Retro Stefson.

3 out of 7 ain’t bad, and that’s what we got from the Retro Stefson camp.  Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson and Logi Pedro Stefánsson joined by Hermigervill came on stage, bringing the Retro Stefson unique dance style with them.  Perhaps the alcohol had been flowing a little too freely, or perhaps I was just in a good mood, but I really got into their set, though I will whole-heartedly deny any and all rumors of dancing…

allinallTo end the evening, all of the musicians came back on stage.  There were sax’s, guitars, theremins and synths.  A lot of singing and hanging out and of course, a cover of Lauren Hill’s “Ex Factor.”  Because, why not?!  Definitely a great way to end a great night.

I harassed Logi Pedro about Highlands, his new side project with Karin Sveinsdóttir.  They are working away and hope to have something early 2015.  They will be playing at Iceland Airwaves in November as well. He was nice enough to answer one of my questions:  What animal, what song?” to which he replied “a lion, singing wrecking ball by Mylie Cyrus.”

And finally, let it be known that after Hermigervill’s set, and much to the chagrin of all in my household, I will very shortly own a Theremin… it’s time

Taste of Iceland 2014 – Boston

TOI

For my post on the Reykjavik Calling concert on May 15th.  Click here.

Taste of Iceland is coming back to Boston this week with food, art, and of course the free concert, Reykjavik Calling.  The event goes March 14th through the 18th, with Reykjavik Calling happening Saturday, March 15th.

Iceland Naturally has been putting Taste of Iceland on for 10 years.  A cooperative marketing outfit, Iceland Naturally promotes all things Icelandic and Taste of Iceland is their signature event.  Supported by a large community of Icelandic sponsors such as Icelandair, Icelandic Group, Islandsbanki, Reyka Vodka, City of Reykjavik, Icelandic Glacial Water, Blue Lagoon, Keflavik International Airport (KEF), Landsvirkjun, Promote Iceland, and the Government of Iceland, the event brings an Icelandic representation of cuisine, art, literature, and music to North America.

This year along with the concert at the Middle East Club, there is a Reyka vodka cocktail class at the Liberty Hotel, a Photography exhibit the 555 Gallery, and all event long you can sample Icelandic cuisine at Rialto.  Go here to read more about these events and RSVP as some events are limited.

RC14

Every year Taste of Iceland delivers different artists from Iceland to North America for a concert called Reykjavik Calling.  The artists not only play their own material, but pair with local artists creating interesting collaborations.   They coordinate with local radio stations, in Boston’s case WERS, to pair the musicians and this year Boston will see The Love Experiment and Skinny Bones on stage.

In the past, acts such as Lay Low, Pétur BenSnorri Helgason and Sóley have all played.  And this year, Retro Stefson, Sin Fang and Hermigervill are playing.  All three musicians deserve their own write up, but as that would make for a rather long blog post I’ve just put a snippet and links to more.  If you click on their names it will take you to their Soundcloud pages, and I’ve embedded my favorite tracks available via Soundcloud above the artist.

Retro Stefson are a supergroup of sorts, they’ve grown and adapted over the years, but their live gigs still remain high energy and fun.  And while the members of the band have branched out into things of their own, they always come back together to entertain the masses.

Hermigervill, AKA Sveinbjörn Thorarensenis a remix master.  He has remixed quite a few of Iceland’s top artists, as well as creating original sounds.   His original work reminds me of the carefree and happy days of BS2000 and it’s enjoyable pretty much anywhere you’re listening to it.

I’ve written about Sin Fang before and every year I see him at Airwaves he’s running around mad playing as often as he can or selling artwork.  His new album, Flowers, justifiably has earned accolades across the globe, and I hear he’s been playing new material all over Reykjavik so I’m hoping he brings the new stuff down here.

The Concert is Saturday March 15th.  Doors are at 8pm, gig starts at 9.  It’s free so I suggest you show up earlier than later, and RSVP here.  This really is a powerhouse of Icelandic musicians, and the possible collaborations between the artists could make for quite the concert.  If you are into all things Icelandic I also suggest you follow Iceland Naturally on Facebook as they frequently keep you informed of Icelandic things that may be happening around where you live.

Taste of Iceland only gets to come to a select cities here in North America, so Bostonites, get out and enjoy what they have to offer.  For all the details, times, RSVP’s and dinner reservations, go here.

Hermigervill was ever so kind as to answer my 4 nonsensical questions:

1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves joint to jam at?  There are now so many off-venues at Iceland Airwaves, it’s hard to pick! Last year, Kex Hostel hosted a really good program, and I had a very memorable show there.

2. If you combine all of your favorite colors, what do you get?  I get a song. I see colours when I make music.

3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin?   a) “Þú & Ég” was a great 70’s disco thing which was big here, but never made it out of the country, despite several attempts.  b) “Grísalappalísa” is a raw punky rock kind of band, which usually isn’t my cup of tea, but there is some special energy going on there, especially during their phenomenal live shows. I just did a remix for them which should be out soon.  c) “Highlands” is a new project consisting of my friend and bandmate Logi Pedro and singer Karin Sveinsdóttir. This will be big, that’s all I can say!

4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song?  Any kind of bird. I love birds, and spent my childhood summers on a remote island, in close proximity to arctic terns, puffins and eider ducks. This bird would probably be playing the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis.

Menu

Iceland Airwaves 2016

1860 Amiina Apparat Organ Quartet AMFJ
Bloodgroup Dj. flugvél og geimskip FM Belfast For a Minor Reflection
Futuregrapher In the Company of Men John Grant Jónas Sen
Kimono Knife fights Lay Low Legend
MAMMÚT Momentum Ojba Rasta Oyama
Pétur Ben Sin Fang Snorri Helgason Sudden Weather Change
Þorvaldur Þór Þorvaldsson(Doddi) Vigri

Sin Fang

sinfang1

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 boys leading 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.

Sin Fang can be found on Facebook, his website, Tumblr, and of course Gogoyoko.

Here be the four questions he was kind enough to answer:

1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves joint to jam at?  My favorite off-venue was called havarí. a little music/art store downtown. it’s a hotel now.

2. If you combine all of your favorite colors (for you, add your bandmates if you would), what do you get? Brown?

3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin? Boyfriends, Olympic boys and Munnfylli af galli. (Unfortunately I could not find links for these bands.)

4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song.  A squirrel playing look at the light

You can Listen to and/or purchase a good amount of Sin Fang’s catalog on Gogoyoko, including the new album Flowers.  he is also on Itunes, and Flowers is available for pre-order or purchase on Feb 5th.