K.óla is Katrín Ólafsdóttir, a 22-year-young artist who just released her anticipated new album ‘Allt verður alltílæ.’ It features seven heartfelt songs, full of cool bass riffs, catchy melodies and honest lyrics. And it’s all thanks to chocolate and boring piano practices. And six cats. Katrín really likes cats.
The early days
“That’s how I started making music—being bad at practicing piano,” Katrín laughs. When she was around eight years old, she studied piano but instead of practicing, she quickly started writing her own songs. Katrín also belonged to a children’s choir, which she mainly enjoyed because of the hot chocolate that was served after rehearsals. She went on to join the band Milkhouse and today studies composition at the Iceland University of the Arts.
During a chill study-break, Katrín finished the new album and went to New York to appear with her choir Hamrahlíðarkórinn at eight of Björk’s ‘Cornucopia’ concerts.
“That was like the best month of my life so far,” Katrín beams. “Björk is one of my idols. She is always developing, and she is not afraid to go her own way. I also love how she expresses emotions—both lyrically and musically.”
Of wine glasses and glass castles
Whereas “K.óla” was first invented as a moniker for signing Katrín’s artworks, it rapidly became the name for any of the output that Katrín thought was “cool or fun.” In 2017, she unofficially released the album ‘Glasmanía,’ which focused on playing wine glasses. In fact, one of the songs from that album, “Glerkastalinn,” is also featured on ‘Allt verður alltílæ.’
“Some of the songs were already out, but I wasn’t completely happy with them,” says Katrín. “So I decided to finish this bundle of songs and throw it out there and start something new.”
The writing for the new album began around two years ago when Katrín purchased an electric bass and began to learn how to play it. She explains that these songs all belong to the same period in her life. “They were all about being young and not knowing what you want or what other people expect of you,” she says.
‘Allt verður alltílæ’ literally means “everything will be okay,” which has been a guiding mantra through Katrín’s life. “It’s like a reminder to myself when I get stressed about things,” she explains. “Some of the lyrics are very honest and it’s sometimes scary to say them. But I think it’s easier to say them in a song than reading them out loud on stage.” Developing her visual art and stage costumes also serves as a means to maintain distance between the persona in the spotlight and the one who writes the lyrics behind the scenes.
The last track of the album, called “Bros í sólina,” is a string-driven ballad that is an ode to friendship. It also serves as a bridge to a new album that will see the light of day this November. “It’s a very different atmosphere,” Katrín finishes. Like her musical heroine, it seems K.óla will continue to develop in fresh and interesting directions.
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