Two popular Icelandic bands of different stripes have announced notable album releases for late 2018. The first is Kælan Mikla, who have had a stellar year topped off by an invitation to open for The Cure in London’s Hyde Park. Their third LP, “Nótt eftir nótt,” is due on November 9th on Artoffact Records, and is available to pre-order now at kaelanmikla.bandcamp.com.
The second is poetic and airy electronica project aYia, who’ve been a strong presence since their first single “Water Plant.” Their self-titled debut comes out on Bedroom Community in November 2nd. JR
Bearded synth-pop hunk Berndsen will tour the U.S. this October, playing music from his difficult third album ‘Alter Ego.’ “This is my ‘Empire Strikes Back,’” he said of the album, in his most recent Grapevine interview. “It’s more serious work, where I want to prove myself as an artist. The album is something people are supposed to play when they have people over and pop open a bottle of wine. The previous ones were made to get drunk on beers and go downtown.” See the full list of tour dates on his Facebook page. JR
Magnús Jóhann, Ceasetone, Kælan Mikla, Sunna Friðjons, Hugar and Sykur will be making the journey to Slovakia on October 24th to take part in the new Hvalur festival in Bratislava, dedicated to showcasing Icelandic music. The world ‘hvalur’ translates to whale, which, according to organisers, represents the goal of the festival. The unique voice of the whale has the ability to travel thousands of miles away and is synomical with strength, beauty, and togetherness. Like the whale song, Hvalur hopes to build a cultural bridge and exchange between the two nations. Tickets range from 2,000-4,000 ISK and are available at hvalur.sk. HJC