Tag Archives: Þórir Georg

14 Iceland bands you ought to be listening to: Introducing Iceland Whatever, Vol. 1

It’s finally time to announce the next release on Theory of Whatever records, Iceland Whatever Vol. 1.   A 14 track compilation of bands I really enjoy and think you should as well.  Spanning multiple genres all brought to you for as cheap as I could get away with.  The liner notes will be available on the Theory of Whatever website, and will include a bio of the band and links where you can hear and purchase more of these bands music.

Much like the old independent compilations I grew up with, the point of this album is to help these bands get a bit more exposure and hopefully increase your music library.  So, here’s presenting “Iceland Whatever Vol. 1 it will be released on October 20th, and you can pre-order here. pre-orders get a dollar off, making the physical CD $5.50 and the digital download $5.  If you would like to purchase the physical CD and are out of the United States, please contact us and we will arrange it

The compilation cover is by the incredibly talented Lóa Hjálmtýsdóttir, a musician (FM Belfast), illustrator, and cartoonist (Lóaboratorium) She frequently contributes to the Reykjavik Grapevine.  The cat on the album cover is Roxy A.K.A. Doom.  She was the only cat I’ve ever gotten along with, ornery as hell but a sweetheart.  She passed away earlier this year, and so I felt compelled to put her photo on the album cover.

There are new and classic tracks from the artists, if the song isn’t available online to listen to yet, I’ve selected another song from the band I enjoy.  Click the band name to go to their Facebook pages.

1. Knife fights – “Panic Later”

knifefights

Knife fights is a refreshing nod to the Northwest United states in the 90’s.  Consisting of Sigurður Angantýsson, Helgi Pétur Hannesson, Gunnar Petur Hauksson, and Þórir Bogason.  They are energetic, slightly noisy and well composed.  They were one of my favorite new bands from last year.  I am pleased to open the compilation with their track “Panic later”

You can read an interview I did with them at the release of their first album here.  Very energetic, slightly noisy and well composed the compilation opens with their new track, “Panic later::

2.  Þórir Georg – Hunger

thorirgeorg

Þórir Georg comes in many flavors.  I first was introduced to his music from his band, My Summer as a Salvation Soldier, and have enjoyed every project he’s come up with since, from folk to crazy to goth.  The track on the compilation is a new song from an upcoming album of his solo stuff.   and so I have put a track from his previous album, Ræfill “The idiot song” here for you to listen.

3. Plúseinn – Empire

pluseinn

Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson is Plúseinn.  He is one of the founding members of FM Belfast, the energetic party band that typically leaves folks pantless by the end of their sets.   While Plúseinn and the track “Empire” can be safely listened to without fear of losing clothing, it is one of the best earworms you’ll experience for quite a while and you’ll be on repeat for quite a while,  electro-pop heavy on the synth.

4. Bambaló – Impress the Boy

KSbam

Kristjana Stefánsdóttir is Bambaló.  Kristjana has helped Icelanders with their singing for years.  Her past projects and albums have been Christmas hymns, Jazz and she frequently performs at Iceland Affair in Connecticut every October.  Her very rich and full voice dominates this song about Impressing a boy.

5. Vigri – Breathing

vigri

Vigri is the creation of two brothers, Hans and Bjarki Pjetursson.  I heard them first at Airwaves years ago and if they are playing I make sure to attend.  Their music floats effortlessly between atmospheric moments and heavy beats and I’m pleased to offer a new track from their upcoming album.  The song above, “Animal” is one of my favorites from their first album, “Sinking ships”

6.  KVÖL– Dropar

kvol

KVÖL is Þórir Georg and Júlía.  It’s Goth punk with dark, strong beats and moody synths.  Dropar is a new track from them not available yet.  So I present, “Get Away” from their first E.P.

7. Kælan Mikla – Ekkert Nema

km

Kælan Mikla is an all female poetic punk band.  Consisting of Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir Margrét Rósa Dóru- Harrysdóttir Laufey Soffía, they blast away with raw vocals and hard rhythms. They’ve quickly become one of my favorites over last couple of years.

8. kimono – Lee Harvey Oswald

Airwaves

kimono are 15 year veteran rockers consisting of Alison, Gylfi, and Kjartan.  post rock and heavy rock have been used to describe them over the ages.  We released their first single off the new album last year, and are pleased to introduce the new track, “Lee Harvey Oswald” on the album.  The track above is “Specters” which you can still purchase the 7″ for here.

9. Var- Varma

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Atmospheric, lightly feathered with darkness but with equal dashes of heavy drums and haunting vocals is a good way to describe var.  The project of Myrra Rós and her husband Júlíus.  This track is a new track from the upcoming album.

10. Brött Brekka – Genie 454

BB

Of course I couldn’t do a compilation without some hard hardcore on their.  Brött Brekka was a 2015 discovery for me, consisting of Sturla Sigurðarson, Sigurður Ingi Einarsson, and Hallvaður Jón Guðmundsson  they wildly swing from heavy rock to Hardcore.   They’re working on a new album as we speak, and I can’t wait for it.

11. AMFJ – Esja

AMFJ

Energetic, emotionally organized choatic musical noise.  Aðalsteinn Jörundsson has been at it a long time.  Part of the Falk label in Iceland, he is a veteran to performing and creation.  One of the first blog posts I did was on AMFJ.  He warned me that this new song wasn’t his usual sort of song,  I really dig it and hope you do as well.

12.  Dj. flugvél og geimskip – Draugur Í Kastalanum

Dj. flugvél og geimskip

Her live shows are ethereal environments full of color, spiraling lights and dancing disco balls.  It’s her own style of music and difficult to classify.  She’s recently been touring all over and I was pleased she could add to the comp knowing just how crazy her schedule was.  One of my favorite live acts to see when I’m in Iceland.

13. Antimony – Purity Control

antimony

The second Goth band on the compilation.  Consisting of RX, Biggi, and Siggi, Antimony are goth pop done in their own unique way.  They’re newly formed and have been extremely active around Reykjavik.  They are the perfect band to powerfully begin the compilation wrap up.

14. Ghostigital and Kimono Mash up – Codomatopoeia

ghostigital_banner

And to wrap up the compilation I bring you one of my favorite classic tracks from Ghostigital’s album Antimatter Boutique.  Ghostigital is Einar Orn and Curver Thorodsson.  Two of the longest working musicians in the Icelandic scene, their music has the ability to pump you up.  People go crazy at their shows, almost as crazy as Einar.  Simply put, I love this band.

As this is the first compilation I’ve put together, it’s filled with the bands I have always dug.  The genres are all over the place I know, but I believe I’ve ordered the CD in a manner that makes it listenable from start to finish.  I really do love all of these bands, and I am pleased they contributed to the cause.

You can pre-order either the CD or the Digital download here.  Please give them all a listen and share what you dig with your friends, regardless if you purchase the album.

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Iceland Airwaves 2015

And, the final announcement is out. Almost 230 bands will be at Iceland Airwaves 2015, and while we’ll definitely miss Björk and Mammút, The Airwaves staff have outdone themselves with the roster this year. This is the most bands I have seen yet, 155 of the 230 bands are Icelandic, and they span the spectrum of every genre. Here is the new announcement, Directed, edited and created by the wonderful Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, Sin Fang once again is credited with the music, and… Now we all know who Gangly is.

Also announced for this year is a festival within a festival. On Sunday, the final night of the festival,the mini-festival called Extreme Chill will happen at the Vodafone Hall. One last hurrah and “laid back” night of music, featuring Hot Chip, Introbeats, dj. flugvél og geimskip, Agent Fresco, Emmsjé Gauti, Sleaford Mods, Úlfur Úlfur and FM Belfast. You can learn more about it here. It’s a fantastic idea, because if you have done Airwaves right, nothing will sound better than only having to go to one place to finish off in musical bliss.

As I did for 2014 and 2013, I’ve listed all of the Icelandic bands playing into loosely divided into genres on this page.  Clicking on their name will open a new tab with the Iceland Airwaves info page for that artist, which includes Soundcloud, Social media links, and a short bio.

This list is just the Icelandic bands playing, if you want to see the full line-up go to the Iceland Airwaves Line-up page.

RocknRoll – Indie Rock – Pop Rock – Rock Rock
Agent Fresco Bárujárn Borko CeaseTone
Dikta Dr. Gunni Elin helena FM Belfast
Fufanu Geislar Hallelewah HAM
Hide your kids Himbrimi Hjaltalín John Grant & the ISO
Just Another Snake Cult kimono Kiriyama Family Klassart
Lára Rúnars Low Roar MAMMÚT Mosi Musik
Mosi Musik Mr. Silla Oyama Red Barnett
Rhytmatik Runar Thorisson Russian.girls Sindri Eldon & the Ways
Teitur Magnússon Toneron Trúboðarnir Valdimar
Var The Vintage Caravan Vio Þórir Georg
Singer/Songwriter – Folk – Blues/Jazz – Composers – Classical
Árstíðir Aurora Axel Flóvent Beebee and the Bluebirds
Brim DALÍ Fura Grúska Babúska
Helgi Valur Hymnalaya Jónas Sen Júníus Meyvant
Justman Lucy in Blue Magnús Leifur Máni Orrason
Markús & The Diversion Sessions  Mógil My Bubba Nordic Affect
Par-Ðar Soffía Björg Sóley TUSK
Þórunn Antonía og Bjarni Ylja
All things Electronica – Dance / DJs / Composers / ambient / ElectroPop / noise
Agzilla Arni Vector Arnljótur Art is Dead
Asonat Auður Berndsen Bistro Boy
Brilliantinus Daveeth dj. Flugvél og geimskip DÖPUR
Dream wife Exos Futuregrapher Gangly
Ghostigital Good Moon Deer Gunnar Jónsson Collider Gus Gus
H.dór Hekla HimBrim Jack Magnet Quintet
Jóhann Eiriksson Jón Ólafsson & Futuregrapher Kiasmos Kippi Kaninus
LaFontaine Lord Pusswhip M-Band Mafama
Mankan Milkywhale Miri Mikael Lind
Mike Hunt Mr. Signout Odinn OHM
Royal Ruxpin Serengeti by President Bongo Skurken
SMURJÓN Snooze infinity Súrefni Sykur
Thor Tonik Ensemble Trptych Vaginaboys
Vök Waage Yagya Yamaho
Young Karin
Punk – Hardcore
Æla Börn Caterpillarmen Grísalappalísa
In the Company of Men Kælan Mikla Muck Pink Street Boys
Skelkur í bringu
All Shades of Metal
Beneath Bubbi Og Dimma Endless Dark Kontinuum
Misþyrming Momentum-Malneirophrenia Severed Sinmara
Svartidauði
Hip-Hop – Rap – Reggae
AmbAdama B-Ruff Cell 7 Cheddy Carter
Emmsjé Gauti Epic Rain Gísli Pálmi Herra Hnetusmjör
Kut Grapje Ojba Rasta Reykjavíkurdætur Shades of Reykjavik
Sturla Atlas Úlfur Úlfur

You can listen to all the bands playing this year via Iceland Airwaves Spotify playlist here:

And here are the previous video announcements:

Video four was Directed, produced, and shot by Máni M Sigfússon, starring Kælan Mikla, with music by Sin Fang:

Video three was produced by Les Frères Stefson, directed and written by, Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson And the banker was Haraldur Ari Stefánsson:

Video two with Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson drumming away as band names float across the screen:

First announcement with Dj. Flugvél og Geimski:

I would suggest getting your tickets sooner than later, especially if you are planning on doing a package you’ll have more hotel options in the beginning now than you will in a month. Typically the festival sells out, but with the line up looking as good as it does this year, I would imagine it will sell out sooner than later. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of “you snooze, you lose”

If you want to see what the past has been like, here is a link to all my Iceland Airwaves related posts.  And here is the link to the Iceland Airwaves Flickr page if you want to see just how fun this festival really is.

Hope to see you there.

15 Icelandic bands you may not know, but should

There are a lot of “top 10 Icelandic bands you should know” floating around these days.  They all seem to list the same bands, half of which we already know.

By now, any person who even knows the minimal of Icelandic music knows bands and musicians such as the Sugarcubes, Björk, Sigur Rós, Ásgeir, Amiina, Mum, Seabear, Of Monsters and Men and Sin Fang.  They are killing it on a global scope and are getting air play and reviews in almost every music mag out there, so I’m leaving them out of my list, they’re wonderful and loverly but we already know that.

There is a book on the history of pop and rock in Iceland called Blue Eyed pop.  It’s an extremely entertaining read, all your favorite bands will be in there with their histories, and it’s shocking to see just how connected even the most distant genre types really are.  It’s become one of my favorite books to loan to people, and the hardest book to get back when they’re done.

So here it is, my top 15 bands you should know, split into three categories, Veterans, Been around the blockers, and Freshies.  Aside from that, there is no rhyme or reason to their order.  Clicking on the band heading will take you to either a blog post I’ve written about them, or their respective interwebby pages:

Veterans:

Kimono

I have been in love with this band since I first heard them almost a decade go.  I love all three of their albums, and the sneak peaks we’re getting of the new album, such as the video above, make me happy indeed.  They’ve been playing for over a decade and a half, and if you’re fans of that minimal yet heavy sound, you’ll go nuts for them.  Click here for more info, including Soundcloud links.  Perfect for twilight drives through the desert or pre-night shenanigans.

FM Belfast

One of the best dance party bands out of Iceland, their live concerts typically end with hysteric crowds jamming around in nothing but their underwear.  If they ever come near your town, they are a must see, you won’t be disappointed, well unless you don’t like to smile and dance.  It’s hard to listen to their albums without jumping a little while smiling.  I reviewed the new album here, and that post also has links to more of their goodiness.  Perfect for party times and getting large crowds of people partially nekkid.

Ghostigial

Imagine that, the crazy guy from the Sugarcubes has his own crazy band.  By far my favorite band to see every year Iceland Airwaves, his break-neck rant-ish style backed up by the almost genius mixing of Curver Thoroddson make the perfect album for walking around a busy city.  Another act that should be witnessed live for full effect.  The video above also has Sóley, which I’ll get to later.  Perfect for going crazy.

Þórir Georg (My Summer as a Salvation Soldier)

As My Summer as a Salvation Soldier, Þórir made one of my favorite songs, The River.  It’s been quite a journey with his singer songwriter style, as it’s not all kumbyah’s and strumming around a campfire.  There are pop ditties, and an album of split personalities harshly contrasting each other in thrash and calmness.  It’s creative weirdness, and well worth getting into.  Depending on the album, it’s perfect for most situations.

Sóley

Part of the Icelandic supergroup Seabear, Sóley has quite the solo catalog under her belt.  She took time off to raise a family after “We Sink” but I just saw her at ATP Iceland, and she’s definitely back in the thick of it.  Her charming voice, and well orchestrated band make for a perfect evening/road trip record.

Lay Low

I’ve called her the offspring of Nancy Sinatra and June Carter.  Her voice is full with the slightest hint of a smokey, well rounded accent.  Her back catalog has quite the folk/country feel.  And the new album, “Talking about the weather” has a more full, larger band approach.  It’s one of my favorite road trip albums, and was on my top list of albums to come out last year.  The video above is from the new album.  For me, pretty much perfect anytime.

Apparat Organ Quartet

A stage completely filled with tubes, wires and organs.  These guys are amazing live as nothing is typically preset.  They are a fun, high energy band synthesizing the hell out of their organs for the audience and listeners enjoyment.  In 2010 I saw them by accident at Airwaves, and I’ve been an uber-fan since.  Perfect for all musically inclined nerds, for rocking out on the weekend, and for when you need a climatic build up before taking on the world.

Been around the blockers:

Oyama

They’ve been called shoegazers, and I s’pose it fits.  They won me over last year at Airwaves with both their interruptive irreverence at Harpa and their actual full gig.  Heavy instruments and floating lyrics, excellent music for afternoon BBQ’s and video gaming sessions.  Perfect for getting your jam on, I’ve yet to gaze at my shoes when seeing them.

Samaris

Imagine if you will, walking right after twilight in the desert or across a foggy field of snow.  Nothing but the wilderness casting strange shadows all around you as you trek forward towards your final destination.  That’s how the very poetic sound of Samaris hits me.  Their new album not available in the US yet, Silkidranga, is less atmospheric and more dance-like.  But the trio’s ability to captivate my ADHD addled brain is quite impressive.  Perfect for druidian chants in the countryside.

MAMMÚT

This 5 piece could almost be considered veterans as well, they’ve been at it for over 9 years.  Their lead singer with her Grace slick style singing, over heavy instrumentation makes for great albums and great gigs.  Perfect rock out music, the above video is their new, first official music video.

Hjaltalín

What started out as a high school songwriting project has turned into quite the band.  They’ve had local success for years, but the new album has projected them into the global realm.  Fantastic band live and on record, I highly suggest checking out their new album, Enter 4. Perfect for get togethers with friends, as well as swooning sessions over that damned sexy long blond head of hair.

Freshies:

Knife Fights

Simple, yet energetic, I love this new band out of Iceland.  It completely reminds me what we’d listen to on our way to the big city for gigs during the summers of my youth.  There’s a sunny, west coast type Violent Femmes era feel to the music, and I haven’t come close to being sick of their album, “I need you to go to Hell.”  Which I highly suggest you give a listen to.  If this sucker gets heard, I really think it has potential to make a lot of folks happy this summer. Video above is their new video for my favorite song off their album.

Boogie Trouble

Ohhh, sweet funky disco.  This band won my favorite new act of 2013, incredibly fun to watch and the locals go crazy for them.  Right this moment they have a crowd funding effort to put out their new album, so go help them out.  And try to listen to their music without wiggling your butt…ain’t gonna happen.  I was going to put an original track as the video, but I think this cover is pretty awesome.

Pink Street Boys

Nooo shit, there’s a garage punk band that has emerged on the rock.  A little Ramones, a little Deadbolt; A lot of Trans Am and Camero mullets.  They are trashy, thrashy, and a completely new guilty pleasure of mine.  Sometimes it’s the slimy little things in life that make one smile.

Recap and final band:

It’s difficult to limit my list with 10 or 15 bands,, as the scene is constantly changing, and there are always bands coming up that you should know.  The best way to keep up on it is to check out The Icelandic Music Export website, blogs such as mine, or rok musik.  There are still an epic amount of bands left, such as Grísalappalísa (punk), Snorri Helgason (folk), Sudden Weather Change (harder rock), For a Minor Reflection (Post-rock), Mr. Silla, Fufanu (electro-rock), and the old greats such as HAM, SH Draumur and etc….. 

There is one band, of which I will never get to see live regrettably so.  They were a great noisy punk experiment, and their music get played regularly at my house. Great for rocking out, and shaking your head when there really is no other way, I present Skátar playing Mahatma Gandhi with Gylfi of Kimono:

Update: Due to the overwhelming response this got, I have made a second list based on the readers suggested additions to this original ist.