Hi Lára! Sorry to be bothering you with all these questions right before the Airwaves festival starts (you are surely pretty busy getting ready for all those shows you’ll be playing), but we heard you have a new record on the way and wanted to ask a little bit about it. But let’s start at the beginning! Who are you? What should our readers know about your past, present and future?
I’m a dramatic joyful person full of contradiction, in a nice way. It’s hard for me to stand still; my mind is a roller coaster. I’m constantly leaving and learning something new. I like riding a bike in Icelandic summer but I don’t like the sun. October is my favourite month because of my birthday, Airwaves, the weather and being able to light candles in the dark. I love reading books. I don’t like arrogant people and I hate advertisements about food supplements and ways to get thinner. My newest hobbies are politics and women’s rights. I’ve released four albums that are all very different. I need to be changing since I can’t stand still. I love my family. My goal is to keep on growing and maturing in my own pace and my own directions. I also want to be able to be silent in the moment.
Your upcoming record, ‘Moment’, will be your fourth since you released your début ‘Standing Still’ in 2003. What of your back catalogue do you recommend our readers familiarise themselves with in preparation for your show?
It’s funny that those titles are both related to being still. I’ve always been looking for this high consciousness. But I recommend that the readers listen to my new album ‘Moment’ before the show since we are only playing new material at this point. Airwaves will be our first show playing this stuff so I’m very excited. If people like to get to know my past, I recommend they check out the older stuff. My album ‘Þögn’ from 2006 is mostly in Icelandic, so that’s nice.
Which of your old records are you the proudest of, and why?
I can’t say. They’re all important to me. I’m proud of ‘Standing Still’ because I was young and not afraid. I’m proud of ‘Þögn’ because it’s so honest. I proud of ‘Surprise’ because it’s joy.
On that note, are there any moments in your career thus far that you regret? Something you would have done differently?
No. Failure is part of the process. Without it I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere.
Your new record sounds pretty great. What can you tell us about it; its conception, the lyrical themes you’re exploring, the creative work, your team and the recording process?
Thank you. Moment is combined with songs that I’ve written over the last three years. Most of the writing was done when I felt completely stuck, breathless and soulless. So that shows the dramatic side of me. The other half is about making peace with myself and the moment. About finding the rhythm of breathing and being responsible for my own life. And looking the crazy beast in the eyes and telling him to fuck off. This album is therapy and you listeners are my therapists. I worked with my family and close friends on this album. The trust and respect between us is unbreakable. Arnar my husband is playing the drums, Birkir my brother in law plays guitar, Jakob my uncle on Bass and then Magnús Árni Öder and Hrafn Thoroddsen on keys. The words are written with help from my friend Matthew Sever from Texas. He helped me find the best possible English words for my Icelandic thoughts and feelings.
You’re working with some pretty revered local musicians on this release. Is it your ‘dream team’?
Yes. They are my best friends and incredible players. Without them the moment wouldn’t be a ‘Moment.’
Likewise, the album cover looks sort of menacing, what with the giant skull and all… what can you tell us about that?
That’s just the cover for the first single, ‘Beast.’ The album artwork has a picture of me in white light. Just my own skull with flesh on it. It was made by Harpa Einars and I don’t know if you can call that one menacing, but it’s interesting.
You’ve been appearing at the Airwaves festival for a while now… any special memories you’d like to share? Any tips for our readers on how to get the most out of the experience?
I have so many good memories related to Airwaves. I love playing for people that are ready to discover something new with an open heart. For me it’s also about getting inspiration and discovering something new. Learning from my music colleagues. The tips would be to not try to see everything. Remember to enjoy and breathe. Take a swim, drink mojitos, eat burgers and check out some off venues.
Anything else to add?
Come see me please!
Lára is playing Harpa Silfurberg tonight at 20:30!
LÁRA IS GIVING AWAY TWO COPIES OF HER DÉBUT TO THE FIRST TWO PEOPLE WHO COMMENT ON THIS STORY! COMMENT AWAY – YOU WILL BE EMAILED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PICK UP ONCE YOU HAVE!