The Boom Years are finally back… when it comes to the import of popular foreign music! Local music lovers still reminisce over the 2003-2008 era, when musicians such as Eric Clapton, Snoop Dogg and The Rapture graced our humble soil on a monthly, or even weekly basis. All that changed when the economy crashed and the currency with it, making booking foreign artists way more expensive. But this year seems to be very 2007-ish, in a good way.
At the beginning of May it was announced that disco-hitmaker, guitarist and funk machine Nile Rodgers would be bringing his Chic outfit to the country and play in Laugardalshöll on July 17. Nile has penned and produced many of the best disco songs from the late 70’s, for his band Chic as well as Sisters Sledge and Diana Ross. Recently he has gathered notoriety for his funkafying work on Daft Punk’s new mega hit “Get Lucky.”
News broke during the same week that R&B superstar Frank Ocean will play a show at the same stadium on July 16, the night before Chic.
And that’s not all! Famed music festival All Tomorrow’s Parties will be held in Keflavík this June with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds headlining, and singing legend Dionne Warwick will belt tunes from her 70-year old pipes at Harpa that same month.
More good things ahead, as Talking Heads virtuoso David Byrne will perform at Harpa with St. Vincent in August, and electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk will close the Iceland Airwaves festival in October.
Whether this sudden increase in concerts by international artists is an economically sustainable development or if a lot of people will go bankrupt remains to be seen, but we at Straumur applaud this evolution wholeheartedly.
We are also really excited about new Icelandic albums coming out. Singer-songwriter Jóhann Kristinsson just released his third album ‘Headphones,’ from which the single “No Need to Hesitate” landed on our list of best Icelandic songs from last year. The album is dramatic and beautiful, and Kristinsson has matured a lot as a songwriter since his last album, ‘Tropical Sunday’ released three years ago.
The band Grísalappalísa recently stormed the scene with their song “Lóan er komin.” It includes members from the late Jakobínarína, Oyama and The Heavy Experience, and their debut album ‘Ali’ comes out this spring. Based on the first single, they sound like a good mixture of Purrkur Pillnikk and Megas, the latter of who provided the inspiration for the band’s name. We look forward to more!
Finally, after hearing FM Belfast’s new single “We Are Faster Than You”, we can’t wait for a new album from the band. There is something about that song that reminds us of a futuristic band from a great 70s cartoon. Summer anthem, anyone?