Parties Of The North - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Parties Of The North

Parties Of The North

Published August 11, 2014

Main photo by
Still from "þau Svæfa" by Mammút

Following a tremendously successful All Tomorrow’s Parties festival (ATP), the organisers have announced the headliner for next year’s fest, indie stalwarts Belle and Sebastian. We were lucky enough to see them the last time they visited Iceland, when they rocked the packed NASA venue in 2006, and can’t wait to see them again in the unique setting at Ásbrú. ATP is one of the best new phenomena to grace our musical horizon in quite some time. The abandoned military base is a perfectly outlandish setting for a festival that focuses on diverse alternative music. The execution of the festival was also outstanding, with every act starting on time with exceptional sound quality and lighting. Portishead, Interpol, Fuck Buttons, Sin Fang and Singapore Sling blew hearts and minds and the overall atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. Early bird tickets for next year’s festival are already on sale and we’re looking forward to it.

Hot on the heels of his latest album, the great Prins Póló released a brand new song last Friday called “Paris Of The North.” The song is a stand-alone single and is featured in a film of the same name that will premiere in September. “Paris Of The North” is a bass driven, catchy as hell, in your face pop song. With a simple, steady electronic beat, it’s decorated with distorted guitars and a hilarious first person narrative about a boozy fisherman coming home to his messed up life and family. It’s a strong contender for our best song of the year.

Stefnir Gunnarsson from the noughties slacker-rocker band Lada Sport just put out his second solo album under the name Japanese Super Shift (the third if you include the album he made with the Future Band back in 2012). The album title is ‘47’ and it contains 11 introspective songs that are greatly influenced by ‘90s era American indie rock mixed with modern synth pop. The highlights are the opening song “Just As Lost” and “Son Of Younger Than Minus R.” The album is presently streaming on Japanese Super Shift’s Bandcamp page and can be yours for about 4 USD.

Last, but not least, we recommend two very good, but different, music videos released in the last week. Mammút made their music video debut with the dark, unnerving and extremely physical interpretation of “Þau Svæfa,” (“They Put to Sleep”) taken from their award winning album ‘Komdu Til Mín Svarta Systir,’ released last year. The video was directed by Sunneva Ása Weisshappel and Katrína Mogensen, the group’s singer.

The other video is for the song “Hrísgrjón,” (“Rice”) from newcomer rapper MC Bjór. It’s a delicately lo-fi affair that includes a car ride in space, a rice-eating monk, basketball and skateboarding, all saturated in goofball humour and unrestrained joy.

Straumur has been active since last summer, with writers Óli Dóri and Davíð Roach documenting the local music scene and helping people discover new music at straum.is. It is associated with the radio show Straumur on X977, which airs every Monday evening at 23:00.

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