House Icons Sísý Ey Gear Up For Round Two - The Reykjavik Grapevine

House Icons Sísý Ey Gear Up For Round Two

House Icons Sísý Ey Gear Up For Round Two

Published June 16, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

“Everything surprises me in music,” says Sigga Eyþórsdóttir, the eldest of the three sisters who, along with DJ Oculus, make up the house band Sísý Ey. “When people recognise us, or know how we are,  I’m surprised.” While Sigga and her sisters Elísabet and Elín may come from a musical family, she admits she was surprised when their song “Ain’t Got Nobody” rose to the top of Icelandic charts when it was released in 2013.

Photo by Art Bicnick

Making The Move To Vocal House

Elín Eyþórsdóttir, the youngest of the three sisters, is known by many for the folk-inspired solo singer-songwriter fare she performs as Elín Ey, while Sísý Ey makes powerful and skilfully produced dance tunes that are driven by their three-part harmonies. “House and electronic music is doing a huge takeover in the music scene all over the world,” Elín says about the transition from folk to house. “There was a mutual friend of ours who thought it was a good idea to try it, and it worked out well, because we can harmonize very well together,” Sigga explains. “We’ve been singing together since we were kids so it’s kind of easy for us.”

Since “Ain’t Got Nobody” was released, Sísý Ey has been relatively quiet on the production front, releasing only a few singles in the past few years. Instead, the band has been focusing on their live shows, which have gained them attention at home and abroad. At the end of June they will be playing at the Glastonbury Festival, alongside some of the world’s biggest music names. “I think the live show has gone full circle,” Elín says. “Now, I think, live shows are again the new thing among musicians. Because albums are dying out.”

Photo by Art Bicnick

It’s All About The Live Show

Elísabet Eyþórsdóttir says she and her sisters tried a lot of different things at first to make Sísý Ey shows special. “We wondered if we had to be in similar clothes, or this and that,” she says. “But what worked best was just to be ourselves, and try to just connect to the crowd.” Sigga explains that the sisters each have their own style. “I’m seeking for attention with my weird look, and then Elín has, like, completely her own style,” Sigga says. “I’m the one that wears high heels,” Elísabet adds with a laugh.

Sísý Ey’s shows also stand out from other house music because everything you hear on stage is done live. “Oculus, he performs everything he does,” Elísabet explains. “I think people sometimes think he is just pressing play and then we sing, but it is so not like that.” The sisters agree that singing to house also present challenges. “On the stage the bass is sometimes so loud you can’t hear anything,” Elísabet says. “We are used to being acoustic singers,” Sigga adds. “But you cannot be a perfectionist with this kind of music. You have to just kind of go and do your best.”

“We don’t really know what we’re getting into,” Sigga says about their upcoming show at Glastonbury. But for fans who are waiting for a debut album from the band, Elín has good news. “We have an album ready. We’re just waiting for the right way to release it to the world.”

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