The only way to describe the year in Icelandic music now behind us is “Absolutely wild!” Earlier this year, Iceland got itself into a small international diplomatic crisis when the ultra-BDSM-dark-lords-of the-inescapable-death-of-materialism band Hatari waved the Palestinian flag at the grotesquely pretentious and odd Eurovision Song Contest.
Apparently, it’s not allowed to display state flags on Israeli TV… or was it only the Palestinian that can’t be shown? Of course, the leather-clad knights of nihilism didn’t care and made Eurovision history with their stunt. Naturally, their song, Hatrið mun sigra (Hate will prevail), has been named Song of the Year by the Reykjavík Grapevine Music Awards.
Another Icelandic band catching international attention in 2019 was darkwave darlings Kælan Mikla. They managed to charm legendary Cure frontman Robert Smith, with him inviting the talented trio to international festivals to play alongside the likes of The Pixies and the Deftones. We hear the young women managed to bum out those optimistic Pollyannas with their dark flair.
Anybody keeping even a cursory eye on the scene won’t be surprised by the powerhouse we’ve named Artist of the Year. Hildur Guðnadóttir wrote the music for the biggest cultural events of the whole world when it came to television and cinema: HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ miniseries and the blockbuster ‘Joker.’ Her talent has been racking up nominations, winning awards, and making history for women composers.
We at the Grapevine are incredibly proud of all of our musicians. Keep on rocking, and keep on surprising the world with your immense talents.
The Reykjavík Grapevine Music Awards ceremony will be held at Röntgen on January 17th. If you’re brave enough, dear reader, you are cordially invited to our celebration of Icelandic music.
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