rough notes

Posts Tagged ‘Reykjavík

Icelandic Music to knock your socks off.

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If ever you get to fly Icelandair, make sure you bring some decent headphones with you.  The air carrier has an excellent in-cabin radio system with a large number of stations to listen to.  One was an “Icelandic Music” sampler.  On the flight home, I wrote down most of the songs and gave the quickest of ratings to them.

[Beware!  This image is HUGE!]

Here’s a list of the bands with my notes:

  • Band: Ampop
  • Song: January
  • Album: Made for..
  • My Notes: MNML.  Check it out.  3 1/2 stars
  • Band: Apparat Organ
  • Song:?
  • Album: Apparat Organ
  • My Notes: Atmosphere.  [legomen]  check it.  4 stars.
  • []
  • Band: Blindfold
  • Song: Falleg Depuro
  • Album: Faking Dreams
  • My Notes:Like Boards of Canafa meets John Lemain’s pop group.  meh. 2 stars
  • Band: Bloodgroup
  • Song:My Arms
  • Album: Dry Arms
  • My Notes: Click tracks & pop vocals.  good. 3 stars
  • Band: Egill Saebjörnsson
  • Song:
  • Album: Egill S
  • My Notes: singer-songwriter, but darker instead of happy-lovey.  3 stars.
  • Band: Feldberg
  • Song:
  • Album: Don’t Be A…
  • My Notes: sunny dreamy weekend at home. LA may like, too.  Check “Farewell”.  3 stars
  • Band: Hjálmar
  • Song:
  • Album: IV
  • My Notes: Jazzy-Reggae-Folk?  neat once or twice?  2 stars
  • Band: Hjaltalín
  • Song: Suitcase Man
  • Album: Terminal
  • My Notes: SOUNDS LIKES SOUNDTRACK MUSIC sometimes.  Dark.  Then fun. Then Bond-like.  varied in a good way.  4 stars.
  • Band: J Jóhannson
  • Song:
  • Album: Dis
  • My Notes: Kraftwerk clicks with more melody.  Guitar, too.  & fuzz.  4 stars.  atmosphere.

Second Page.

  • Band: Jonsi
  • Song:
  • Album: Go
  • My Notes: Atmospheric but uneven?  Requires further listen.  2 1/2 stars
  • Band: Lay Low
  • Song:
  • Album: Farewell Goodbye
  • My Notes: smoky dirty café (great voice more than anything else!) 3 1/2 stars √
  • Band: Blue Laggoon Soundtrack #2
  • Song:
  • Album:
  • My Notes: VA
  • Band: Our Lives
  • Song:
  • Album: We Lost The…
  • My Notes: 2stars.  Atmo-pop
  • Band: Påll Oskar
  • Song:
  • Album:
  • My Notes: Dance w/ Flutes & Disco! 2 1/2 stars
  • Band: Rökkurró
  • Song:
  • Album: þaó Kólnar…
  • My Notes: Atmosphere pop meets folky accordions of some sort + Icelandic pop = cool. 3 1/2 stars
  • Band: Sudden Weather Change
  • Song:
  • Album: Stop!
  • My Notes:Atmospher + Rock = symphonic/Wall of Sound/Almost.  Check it out/more listen? 3 1/2 stars
  • Band: Sykur
  • Song:
  • Album: Frabært…
  • My Notes:Kraftwerk, updated.  So far, so good  4 stars
  • Icelandic Airwaves Tunes to Find.  These are song titles by VA!
  • Lay Down in the Tall Grass


That’s the end of the Icelandic music love in.  It was followed by some reminders:

  • oh, so many illustrations
  • THE SOUNDTRACK for my funeral [i..e, my life on earth,] is AIR / LA FEMME d’ARGENT

Some general notes:

  • I can’t remember why I appended the square brackets to my note about funeral soundtracks.  I do recall adding the bracket after writing the sentence.  I think it may have to do with differentiating between the sounds of Heaven (Suedehead) and the sounds of my wake (La femme d’argent).
  • Jean-Michel Jarre is not Icelandic music.  He was listed in the “Ambient” radio listings (as well as Air).  I wrote down this album since I’ve listened to it in the past.
  • Jonsi is Jonsi Birgisson, of Sigur Ros.
  • “John Lemain’s pop group” should be read as “John Mullane ‘s group, In-flight Safety.  (I was too tired to remember anything at this point..) I worked with John for a month or two on a catering gig just before the band became big.  Not my kind of music, but props to them for sticking it out.
  • “Blue Laggoon” [sic] is actually the Blue Lagoon, a geo-thermal spa outside of Reykjavik.  It’s kinda touristy, but very must worth the trip.
  • If you’re curious, yes, I can pronounce some of the odd-looking letters, such as the ash (æ) and thorn (þ) (Thank you, ENG 240Y, Old English, at Uni College, U of T).  That doesn’t mean I could understand anything, though.

Some music notes:

  • Iceland has a serious music scene.  I’ve heard twice that aside form being a great cultivator of local music, a lot of bands stop in Reykjavik and play gigs there in order to offset the cost of travel across the Atlantic.  It may be only a story but it doesn’t change the good vibes in this town.
  • There is a wicked music store you should check out if you head to RVK, called 12 Tónar.  12 Tónar has their own record label.  They’re great fellows in there.  You’re welcome to listen to anything in the store in some real comfortable couches and chairs…  and they serve you espresso!
  • RVK has a music festival called Iceland Airwaves.  We missed it by a week – sadness.   Check it out.
  • While looking for URLs for these bands, I found two strong resources online for Icelandic Music:

Written by mitchellirons

October 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm