Iceland Airwaves (Nov 3-5, 2017) – Review

Written by Erica Andreozzi

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I’ve worn plenty of wristbands in my day, but this one I wear with MOST PRIDE. Having been accepted to my second Iceland Airwaves Music Festival as a media pass holder is an opportunity that I do NOT take lightly, and I tried my best to capture the highlights of this magical, musical mystery tour.  Not only does this “land of Ice” know know to shatter glass ceilings and defy the odds of artistic potential and possibility, but it does so in a way that is warm (“land of fire”) and welcoming, and so in the least bit pretentious. The sky is definitely the limit for this innovative, ingenious, impressive Island. The music, people, and scenery is uncharacteristic of anywhere else.  ❤ 

Here are some of the bands that left a lasting impression in my mind and made me question the boundaries of human creativity (click on names or links below to see the full reviews): Hatari, Hogni, Hormonar, Kiriyama Family, We Made God, Omotrack, Rythmatik, Captain Syrup, Arstidir, Between Mountains, Axel Flovent, Mani Orrason, One Week Wonder, GDJYB (non-Icelandic), and Mammut (a personal favorite).  Since my review for Mammut was taking a very long to write (I often find it most difficult to write about bands that move me the most), I decided to write a combined review on their 2017 & 2018 Airwaves shows. Other Icelandic bands I have written about in the past are Asgeir, VAR, Vok, Kaleo, For a Minor Reflection, Sin Fang, Agent Fresco, Lay Low, Rokvva, Samaris, etc. See my reviews on Asgeir and Low Roar. See videos below from Airwaves 2017 when Mammut performed ‘Kinder Versions,’ ‘Pray for Air in the Water,’ ‘The Moon Will Never Turn on Me,’ ‘Walls,’ and ‘What’s Your Secret(these absolutely SLAY):

 

Hormonar: “Our songs are like a female orgasm; there’s no one big explosion, but many high points” – Live at Secret Solstice and Iceland Airwaves (June/Nov 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

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Photo credit: Ian Young (www.nounpusher.com)

Hórmónar (Whoremoans) definitely roused plenty of hormones at Iceland Airwaves this year, and it is no surprise that their fan base is multiplying rapidly. They were one of my top new discoveries at Secret Solstice 2017, and their liberating (shirts off at the ed), sexually-charged punk rock performance had both men and women in a tizzy. It therefore was no surprise to later find out that these 5 friends (Brynhildur Karlsdóttir-Vocals, Urður Bergsdóttir-Bass/Vocals, Katrín Guðbjartsdóttir-Guitar, Hjalti Torfason-Saxophone, Örn Gauti Jóhannsson-Drums) won the 2016 Icelandic Music Experiment. Brynhildur’s vocals were unpredictable, edgy, and hot, and plenty of men shouted “are you offering?!” in response to her asking the audience, “Are you HORNY?!!” In a previous  interview with the Rekyavik Grapevine, Brynhildur said: “Our songs are like a female orgasm; there’s no one big explosion, but many high points.” Their smoking hot, super-seductive,  “drive-you-wild” energy sparked some serious attention at Iceland Airwaves this year, earning them the “Peoples’ Choice Award” at the Grapevine Music Awards. I am so glad I was able to see them up close without getting burned. 😛 Can’t wait to see my three favorite songs (videos below) from their album ‘Nananana Búbú” once more at Iceland Airwaves 2018. ❤

 

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Make it out Alive (Playlist: Jan 15, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

“I felt the music hit my bones and I fell back
I fell into the clouds
My feet weren’t touching the ground
We started to float around” Angus and Julia Stone (‘Make it Out Alive‘)
FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (82 songs!) inspired by some of my TOP PICKS of Iceland Airwaves music festival (Nov 2017) for which I’ll post individual reviews: Mammut (winner of the 2004 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Kiriyama Family (whose track ‘Innocence‘ has been #1 in Iceland for the past 3 months), Omotrack (2nd prize winner of the 2017 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Mani Orrason, Hórmónar (1st place winner of the 2016 Icelandic Music Experiments), Songhoy Blues, Keto (my talented friend Le Hah!), Axel Flovent, Hatari (Grapevine music award‘s 2016 and 2017 ‘Best Live Band of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang), Rökkva, Valdimar, One Week Wonder, Rythmatik (winner of the 2015 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Captain Syrup, Hogni (Grapevine music award‘s ‘Album of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jan ), Mosi Musik, Asgeir (fastest-selling debut album in Icelandic history, ‘Album of the Year’ winner at 2012 Icelandic Music Awards), We Made God (3rd prize winner of the 2006 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir) ), and I am Halo.
*
Mammut is by far one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC BANDS and have been ever since I first discovered them at the Great Escape music festival in Brighton back in 2013. I am somewhat OBSESSED with their newest album, Kinder Versions, especially after getting hooked on ‘Kinder Version‘ (“I’m bringing all my stories back, erasing all the kinder versions of my past”) ❤ ❤ ❤ , ‘The Moon Will Never Turn On Me‘ (“I want to make this right but I don’t feel right, Cause sometimes life tries to eat us up… but then I take a look around and see how dust turns into gold and I embrace this world, embrace the world, embrace the world and I love it all”), and ‘Pray for Air‘ (“Taste the dirt of the water… you know you’ll never be pure.”) *Note: Air in water unfortunately would mean less blue ice when that water freezes!* Not only did National radio and television RÚV chose Kinder Version as the best album of 2017, but it was The Line of Best Fit selected it at #18 for 2017. Mammut was also awarded performers of the year (Krókurinn 2017, Menningarverðlaun Rásar) and selected to be on KEXP‘s top 10 list of the YEAR. They definitely had a REMARKABLE 2017! Can’t wait to post my review on them! I got some epic videos of their first set of Airwaves in Reykjavik, especially during ‘Kinder Version‘ when Kata pointed to me about a 1 min in and asked “Have you been excited?” with a gaze that stared into the depths of MY SOUL. If I wasn’t excited before, I certainly was after.:)
 *
Other sources of inspiration for this playlist were drawn from recent shows that I really enjoyed (see reviews by clicking on link) — Henry Jamison, Angus and Julia Stone, City of the Sun, Overcoats, Nick Mulvey, Jaws of Love. (Kelcey Ayer of Local Natives), Caroline Smith, Tune-Yards, Ben Sollee, Emily Scott Robinson, Luke Sital-Singh, Henry Jamison, Gracie and Rachel — as well as new releases by Geographer, The Boxer Rebellion, Trevor Hall, Caught a Ghost, Black Pistol Fire, The Oh Hellos, Sharon Van Etten, Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors), Cosmo Sheldrake, and Van William.
 *
City of the Sun was one of my TOP FIVE PICKS OF 2017, and their EXPLOSIVE, GENRE-BENDING sound (post-rock blended with and flamenco guitar and unique percussion) will SWEEP YOU TO THE SKY. It’s only a matter of time before these guys shine their vibrant tunes ‘To the Sun and All the Cites In Between‘ (name of debut album).
 *

Previous Playlists: Up All Night, Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, and more…

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

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  1. So Low- Geographer
  2. Love Yourself- The Boxer Rebellion
  3. Chateau- Angus & Julia Stone
  4. Moon / Sun- Trevor Hall
  5. Kinder Version-  Mammut
  6. Before The Hurting Lands.- Jaws Of Love.
  7. I Don’t Believe In Us- Overcoats
  8. Mountain To Move- Nick Mulvey
  9. Make It Out Alive- Angus & Julia Stone
  10. Chemistry- Kiriyama Family
  11. Second Sun- City of the Sun
  12. Right & Wrong- Caught a Ghost
  13. Trying Not to Love You- Caroline Smith
  14. Pray For Air- Mammut
  15. Speak Of The Devil- Black Pistol Fire
  16. Snow- Angus & Julia Stone
  17. The Wires- Ben Sollee
  18. Remembering- Nick Mulvey
  19. Wander- Trevor Hall
  20. Kai’s Song-  Overcoats
  21. Firefly- City of the Sun
  22. Blind Spots- Omotrack
  23. The Moon Will Never Turn On Me- Mammut
  24. 21st Century Heartbeat- Luke Sital-Singh
  25. Magazine- Caroline Smith
  26. Transform Your Game (We Remain)- Nick Mulvey
  27. Light Years Away- Kiriyama Family
  28. Fed All My Days- Mani Orrason
  29. Baudelaire- Angus & Julia Stone
  30. Torches- The Oh Hellos
  31. Dark Night- Amber Coffman
  32. Wake The Riot- Black Pistol Fire
  33. Love Me Like I’m Gone.- Jaws Of Love.
  34. I Can’t Quit- The Vaccines
  35. Bloodstyle- Caroline Smith
  36. Ekki Sleppa- Hórmónar
  37. Sahara- Songhoy Blues
  38. Time- City of the Sun
  39. Overalls (Live)- Emily Scott Robinson
  40. Imaginary Mountains- Omotrack
  41. We Tried Love- Mammut
  42. Mechanical Advantage- Ben Sollee
  43. Superstar- Keto
  44. Hawaiian License Plates.- Jaws Of Love.
  45. On the Mountain Tall-  The Oh Hellos
  46. Apart- Kiriyama Family
  47. Walls- Mammut
  48. City Dream- Axel Flovent
  49. Ódýr- Hatari
  50. Heart Attack- Tune-Yards
  51. Nothing Stays The Same- Luke Sital-Singh
  52. Up There- Trevor Hall
  53. In Your Hands- Nick Mulvey
  54. All To Myself- Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors)
  55. Come Along- Cosmo Sheldrake
  56. Where It Goes-  雞蛋蒸肉餅  GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang)
  57. I Want You to Know- Rökkva
  58. Revolution (Ft. First Aid Kit)- Van William
  59. Læt Það Duga- Valdimar
  60. Mars- One Week Wonder
  61. Carrie Bell- Ben Sollee
  62. Blackened Pool- Keto
  63. Young Folks- City of the Sun
  64. Geiri á Sjoppunni- Captain Syrup
  65. Angel Eyes- One Week Wonder
  66. Soubour – Songhoy Blues
  67. Bed I Made (Bonus Track)- Allen Stone
  68. Ryðgaður Dans- Valdimar
  69. Time Is A Riddle- Luke Sital-Singh
  70. Traveling Mercies- Emily Scott Robinson
  71. What the Fuck- The Boxer Rebellion
  72. For You- Sharon Van Etten
  73. Peace Has a Pencil in Her Hair – Rythmatik
  74. Kynsvelt- Hórmónar
  75. Queen Of Queens – i Am Halo
  76. Crash- Hogni
  77. I Am You Are Me- Mosi Musik
  78. Trust- Asgeir
  79. The Start is a Finish Line- We Made God
  80. Sunlit Juice- Henry Jamison
  81. (Un)comfortable- Gracie and Rachel
  82. Goodbye- Mosi Musik