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Too Blessed To Be Stressed: Sólveig Matthildur On Robert Smith & Touring Japan

Too Blessed To Be Stressed: Sólveig Matthildur On Robert Smith & Touring Japan

RX Beckett
Words by
Photos by
Art Bicnick
Kinnat Sóley

Published May 16, 2018

In the short time since branching out into a solo music career, Sólveig Matthildur has caused tidal waves through Reykjavík’s—and indeed the world’s—underground music scene.

“Japan was super weird because it was pretty DIY, but it was fun.”

Having rapidly self-released her first album “Unexplained Miseries & the Acceptance of Sorrow” last year to critical awe, she quickly scooped up awards (including the Grapevine’s own “You Should Have Heard This” award), grants, and offers left and right. Now freshly relocated to Leipzig from Berlin, Sólveig is contending with a hectic schedule comprising both her own endeavours and those of her band, Kælan Mikla.

“I am so busy, I have so much to do,” she says, speaking over Skype from a café in her new hometown. “We just got here on May first, after looking for an apartment in Berlin for three months. Suddenly we realised we would be homeless in two days and just decided to try looking in Leipzig.”

Big in Japan

The move came right on the heels of her return from an extensive, month-long tour of Japan with The Last King of Poland. “He had lived in Japan a couple of years ago and we’ve played a couple of times together in Berlin, so he asked if I wanted to go tour Japan with him,” Sólveig explains.

“It’s like the eye of a storm: I’m just looking at everything blowing around and I don’t know what to do.”

“The head of 2670, the Japanese record label that released Kælan Mikla and my album, organised some of the gigs and then we just booked the rest on our own.”

This mix of bookings brought Sólveig to play a huge spectrum of venues around the country, from swanky mid-size bars in Tokyo to basement shows with computer speakers for monitors and three people in attendance. “Japan was super weird because it was pretty DIY but it was fun,” she says. “Even when I was playing that weird basement show I was just laughing.” While in Japan she also released the “Stressed And Depressed” official tour soundtrack with 2670.

Self-reliant and resourceful

Indeed, Sólveig’s infectious good nature and proclivity towards self-reliance have propelled her on the path she is beating now. Having launched her own label, zine and music festival—Hið Myrka Man, Myrkfælni and Myrkramakt, respectively—she is no stranger to being resourceful and maintaining an overachieving schedule. Now she is on the heels of two solo releases, namely the vinyl release of her debut album via Artoffact records, and the “Affliction/Absolution” 7” on the new label åtåmåtån.

On top of her own releases, she is currently home in Iceland recording an album with Kælan Mikla, who are about to open for Placebo at the Robert Smith-curated Meltdown Festival. “The funny thing is that he just personally sent the band an email like, “Hello, would you like to do this,” she laughs with glee. “I know it’s going to be big but I’m not sure if I am ready. I don’t feel like anything is happening but it’s like the eye of a storm. I’m just looking at everything blowing around and I don’t know what to do.”

Sólveig Matthildur plays at Gaukurinn on May 30th with 2,000 ISK entry. Hear and buy the album here.


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