Back in October, KEXP traveled to Iceland and set up recording equipment in the KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, capturing some incredible, intimate, and beautiful performances by artists participating in the Iceland Airwaves festival.
And by beautiful, I don’t just mean musically. Judging by the members of the various groups, it appears that every single person in Iceland is ridiculously good-looking!
It’s hard to nail down specifics, but listening to all of these performances, and thinking of the Icelandic pop music I’ve heard before, there is a definite Icelandic sound that resonates throughout. The music can range from dark and moody to light and airy, and vocals tend to have a distinctive trill. There’s something ethereal going on there, born of that remote land of fire and ice perhaps, and though I haven’t listened to any traditional Icelandic folk music, my best guess is that it has a major influence as well.
There are many more clips on YouTube (search “Live on KEXP KEX”), including more artists than I’m featuring here, so be sure to spend some time browsing and listening.
Finally, the most unusual group of the bunch, Retro Stefson…well…um…I really don’t know how to classify them. Perhaps trying to do so would actually diminish them in some way. All I will say, then, is that there’s is happy, fun, energetic music that just brings a smile to my face.