It’s a moment of pure DIY punk bliss: three girls want to form a band but have no musical background. One, Hrafnhildur Einarsdóttir, uses YouTube tutorials to teach herself how to play drums. Another, Fríða Björg Pétursdóttir, learns bass from online how-to guides. The last, Karólina Einarsdóttir, has never sung in front of anyone before. They write a song and play at the 2017 Músíktilraunir contest as their first show. After a raucous performance, not only do they make it to the finals, but they become the dark horse and fan favourite of the event—the talk of the punk town.
So began GRÓA, our ‘One To Watch’ this year, who, after bursting onto the scene only two years ago, have proven that despite being only 16 and 17 years old, they can stand with the best of them. Watch out.
This year has been a big year for the trio. In April, they dropped their self-titled debut album, which consisted of the first seven songs that the three had ever written. Their earworm melodies are infused with riot grrl attitude, and the LP showed a maturity far beyond that of newbie songwriters. This innate knack for punk hits quickly grew them a fanbase in Reykjavík.
Over the next months, they followed up the album with a stacked performance schedule as well as a highly anticipated Airwaves appearance, which one Grapevine reviewer described as “electroshock therapy.”
But the girls look at their last two years as mere preparation for where they are now. Now experienced musicians, songwriters and performers, Hrafnhildur, Fríða, and Karólina see themselves entering phase two of GRÓA.
“This last half year we have been making a lot of new songs and they are very different from our first album,” Karólina says. “We’re going in a different direction and it’s more the way we want to make music. We’re very excited.” Hrafnhildur nods. “We’ve found a little more energy. It’s a little more post-punk.”
GRÓA is currently recording a second album and making a music video while still performing regularly around the city. “We feel so good winning this award. It’s given us such a boost,” Fríða says, smiling. “And it fits, right now, because we are about to make new stuff in such a different way. The next year is going to be very exciting.”
Read more about the 2019 music awards here.
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