As mentioned last year, my wife and I attended Iceland Airwaves in October as part of our honeymoon in Iceland. It is a fantastic festival that awards the opportunity to see loads of great bands and make lots of musical discoveries.
It all started with a little rain and line up. We were in line to go see someone at the main venue. And then it started to rain. Rather than stand in line in the rain for half an hour we decided we would go grab a pint of the delicious brew Viking across the street at the pub. We walk in and there are about 20 people conversing in the lovely local language we don’t speak. We grab a Viking, and then this group of “Kids” take the stage. We move up closer to the stage and 40 minutes later we leave with giant grins on our faces. This band was amazing. They are often compared to Sigur Ros for obvious reasons, but they are not a mere copy. This is Icelandic Post-Rock with purpose. It is sweeping and powerful. It is driving and melodic. It is commanding and beautiful.
Following the show, we get back in line abuzz with what just happened. Right behind us are some other Canadians that are talking about them as well. They had seen them earlier in the festival and had to go see them again. We get back home to Canada to find out they have nothing to buy or listen to. Eventually they release a few tracks on their site to download and listen to, and they are great. But not enough.
This week their debut album Ólgusjór was released on iTunes. A lot of bands recordings can’t live up their live experience, and the opposite is true of many. Ólgusjór is a magnificent album. The only thing it lacks is the sight of these youngsters and their giant smiles as they play along. This is music made by people who love music.
Below is a sample of the album in the form of the track Í Draumi. A piano based number that is driven but the repeating drums and then escalated by those awesome horns and accented by strings. The rest of the album is as good or better, so head over to iTunes and buy the album to support this talented young group from Iceland.