Canadian-born Reykjavík-transplant MSEA is known for her intriguing, textural electronica-and-voice music. In her short time in Iceland, she has become not only a well known artists, but also a celebrated tastemaker with her “can’t think just feel” music series at Loft. Here are her top picks for Airwaves 2019.
I have seen Kælan Mikla a handful of times and never does their performance feel the same. These ladies are fire-bearing as individuals, so you can imagine what happens when they come together. I find their music completely magnetising and am spellbound by the slow pulse of darkness and body sways. There is power and sensuality. The three divine move together and the audience looks as though they are part of the incantation. I mean, the Cure know whats up; Robert Smith is a known champion of the trio. I’m bewitched.
Starting off as a performance art piece, London’s Snapped Ankles dressed up as trees and used their home-made synth rigs to recreate the Forest. Not only did the tree costumes stay, but they evolved into ghillie suits and the members identities are apparently unknown. The music is a little bit heavy, a little bit punk, a little bit avant garde, a little bit for everyone. I am very excited to see these shrubs live.
I saw Sturle Dagsland by complete accident last year at Dillon’s Off Venue and it is still one of the most memorable performances I have seen in my entire life. Ethereal yet beastly. Otherworldly yet earthly. Ferocious and yet delicate. I have studied and heard my share of voice technique, but the vitality and intensity of Sturle’s vocals are incomprehensible. Perhaps their music is not something you will hear in the background of a coffee shop, but please, accept the challenge of something indescribable and be prepared for anything.
Glasgow’s Free Love was once called “Happy Meals.” They bring a feeling of all of these words: freedom, happiness, love… and, er… meals (Which is really just a combination of all the previous isn’t it?). The duo is made up of Lewis Cook and Suzi Rodden, who bathe the listeners in their self-created luxury. Perhaps their Airwaves debut won’t be a 12-hour “Bring your own plant” adventure, but I’m sure plants and shoulder pumps are welcome.
A little bit silly, music you can slow dance awkwardly to, jangly guitars, slightly detuned, not just because he’s Canadian. His kind-of-clumsy reverb sound has seeped into many bands we know—a trend of surf and beach wave rock that lives on. In 2014, every hip craft bar in Toronto was playing “Salad Days,” but I haven’t been similarly bathed in the songs of ‘Here Comes the Cowboy.’ Maybe I’ll be disappointed—I hope to see him in a small venue with not too many people. Probs unlikely.
Pink Milk is a duo from Sweden that does the perfect job of “throwback” without being too obvious about it. Their music is reverb-drenched synth wave, cold wave, dark wave, shoegaze bliss. Bringing up visions of Twin Peaks’ bar scenes and dense fog drives. A tad gloomy and melancholic, their album ‘Purple’ is a great soundtrack for the winter transition.
Iceland Airwaves is from November 6th to 9th. Tickets are 19,900 ISK for the festival and 12,900 ISK daily.
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Posted October 31, 2019