The year is, like, only half over at this point. Still, in the spirit of our BEST OF REYKJAVÍK issue, we got our resident music & nightlife gurus Óli Dóri and Davíð Roach to compile a little BEST OF 2013 so far….
Best song: Bragðarefir—Prins póló
Balancing subtle grooves with surreal lyrics, this song is the sort of low-key party hit that seeps into your consciousness. A funky bassline and ‘80s drum machine lure you in, and the chorus with its hilarious lyrics makes you want to dance and laugh out loud at the same time.
Best album: Flowers—Sin Fang
Flowers is Sindri Már Sigfússon third album under the Sing Fang moniker, and his best one yet. It features gorgeous production from Alex Somers and melodies that stick to your head for days after listening. Sindri’s voice is fragile yet consistent, and nostalgic sounding lyrics about young boys smoking in the woods always bring smiles to our faces.
Best festival: SÓNAR Reykjavík/All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland
We have to nominate two outstanding, yet very different, festivals, both known international brands that made their Iceland début in 2013. The Sónar festival at Harpa was a shining beacon in the usually dark and dull month of February. With its focus on electronic music and progressive visuals, the highlights for us were performances from Squarepusher, Diamond Version and James Blake. All Tomorrow’s Parties was an altogether different beast, but just as fierce and lovely. Held in an airplane hangar at the old NATO Base outside of Keflavík, it was more centred on guitar driven indie rock. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and veteran badass Nick Cave along with his Bad Seeds absolutely killed his show. Psychedelic garage rockers Thee Oh Sees were also outstanding, and Icelandic bands like múm and Apparat Organ Quartet brought their A-game. We sincerely hope that both these festivals become a permanent fixture on our musical landscape.
Best new band: Grísalappalísa
Grísalappalísa recently stormed the scene with a good mixture of Purrkur Pillnikk and Megas, the latter of which provided inspiration for the band’s name. Grísalappalísa includes members from the late Jakobínarína, Oyama and The Heavy Experience.
Best concert: Daniel Johnston at Fríkirkjan
Cult musician Daniel Johnston played his first concert in Iceland at Fríkikjan church on June 3. Most people know Daniel from the documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,“ which displays that you can never quite predict what you’ll get from him. He could stop after a couple of songs, or he could give a thrilling performance, as he did that night at Fríkirkjan, where he played most of his best known songs backed up by Icelandic musicians.
Best music video: Retro Stefson—She Said
In the video for the song ‘She Said’ from their self-titled LP, Retro Stefson’s members dress up in drag and get in some rather strange action. The video takes place in the great bar Harlem, right here in Reykjavík.