From Björk to Sigur Rós, múm, Kaleo and Of Monsters and Men, Iceland’s wealth of contemporary artists in a myriad of genres has had an indelible impact on the globe, with creative significance far greater than expected of a remote island country with a population of only 330,000 people. Living up to its reputation for musical innovation and radical thinking, the ESNS 2019 Iceland Music roster is sure to inspire, challenge and provoke.
“A perfect wedding of aesthetic, message and music” is how The Line of Best Fit described Hatari’s brutal nihilistic darkness that made them the most talked about band of Iceland Airwaves 2018 . And if darkness is your theme, then Une Misère’s atmospheric post hardcore will provide an intense introduction to the Icelandic blossoming underground metal scene.
Formed in 2013 after winning a poetry slam held by the city library, synth-punk Kælan Mikla create a compelling collage of 80s coldwave, goth and the occult. From darkness onto the light, where Hugar’s ethereally ambient music has already amassed a serious following with over 30 million Spotify streams and a busy European touring schedule.
Starting her music career as one half of a jazz duo, Bríet found overnight fame following the release of her debut 2018 single “In Too Deep” that brought together mainstream pop, R&B and electronic influences in a fresh and unmistakably authentic way. Another rising pop star and winner of the Icelandic Music Award for Pop Song 2017, Hildur, is also a classically trained cellist, lyricist and a gender equality activist.
Alongside these 6 emerging acts, Icelandic music will be represented at this year’s Music Moves Europe Talent Awards by one of the most powerful and politically charged voices from the land of fire and ice. Reykjavíkurdætur are champions of female empowerment. They rap in their native tongue but their radical feminist message transcends linguistic and cultural boundaries winning them fans and critical acclaim across Europe and North America.
Iceland Music showcases at ESNS 2019
Wednesday January 16
Reykjavíkurdætur: MMETA De Oosterport
Une Misère : Huize Maas (main)
22:15 – 23:00
Thursday January 17
Bríet : Simplon (UP)
Kælan Mikla : Der Aa Theater
23:00 – 23:45
Reykjavíkurdætur: Eurosonic Air
23:15 – 00:00
Hildur : Praedinius Gymnasium
23:35 – 00:15
Hatari : Stadsschouwburg
00:15 – 01:00
Friday, January 18
Hugar : Nieuwe Kerk
23:00 – 23:40
More about The Artists
19-years-old, Bríet Elfar, aka BRÍET, burst onto the national pop scene in early 2018. Her self-released single “In Too Deep” racked up hundreds of thousands of Spotify streams and the follow up EP 22.03.99 ensured her inclusion on many ones-to-watch lists. Her songs are perfect little R&B-infused pop gems about love and relationships.
Exciting, unnerving and thought-provoking: HATARI treads a thin line between politically charged performance art, politics and music. The Icelandic multimedia performance project ‘unveils the relentless scam that is everyday life’. The band was perfectly described by Consequence of Sound as “part David Lynch nightmare, part goth dress-up party and part industrial love letter”. And HATARI has the music to match its explosive performances in the form of a powerful blast of bondage-pop, techno-punk and industrial-goth.
Hildur is a multi-talented rising pop star from Iceland. Her ambitious nature drove her from competitive sports through to band life and to an exciting solo career. She is a singer, a songwriter and a lyricist. She has a degree in Japanese and is a classically trained cellist. However, don’t expect sweet-as-sugar pop. She is not only an obvious musical talent but a women’s rights and gender equality activist, who projects her message a powerful and colourful way.
Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson are two friends from the sleepy township of Seltjarnarnes. Pétur pursued a degree in Architecture. Bergur’s trombone-playing won him a place at the prestigious Julliard School, which he turned down to form Hugar. Alongside Hugar, Bergur lends his many talents to other local musical luminaries, working on projects for the likes of Ólafur Arnalds, Björk and Sigur Rós.
Kælan Mikla is an Icelandic synth-punk trio from Reykjavik, who’s music an eccentric concoction of avant-punk poetry and drifting, dreamy dark wave. Their debut album came out on Fabrika Records in July 2016, followed up with second record Mánadans in 2018. In the autumn of 2018 Toronto-based Artoffact Records released their third album “Nótt Eftir Nótt”
Reykjavíkurdætur (Icelandic word meaning “daughters of Reykjavík”) is an all-feminist all-female hip hop clan started by Blær Jóhannsdóttir and Kolfinna Nikulásdóttir. After connecting with other women interested in rapping, they began participating in recurring public female rap nights in Reykjavik. Since their formation in 2013, they’ve been rapping about everything from politics to anal sex and even told the Icelandic Prime Minister to “suck my pussy” live on TV.
A group of artists from various hardcore bands, inspired by Iceland’s darkest and most bleak aspects, joined forces to create Une Misère, a collective with a sound that pushes boundaries and cuts deep. The band has been rapidly gaining momentum since their came together in 2017 and released mixtape 070717 with remixes from prominent Icelandic electronic artists. Playing Roadburn marked a critical point: they totally destroyed the prestigious festival with three fierce shows called ‘Witness the misery.’
More information about Iceland Music here: https://icelandmusic.is/
Download more info on the artists and photos here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1etj5xv0tq46oiy/AADop_mAdx0ycNJ0xgs9C6xka?dl=0
Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity