From Iceland — Don’t Get Lost At Norður og Niður: Grapevine's Festival Picks

Don’t Get Lost At Norður og Niður: Grapevine’s Festival Picks

Published December 4, 2017

Don’t Get Lost At Norður og Niður: Grapevine’s Festival Picks
Jessica Peng
Photo by
Art Bicnick

With 46 fascinating artists already announced for the inaugural Norður og Niður music festival, and more to come, we thought we’d offer you a few choice picks from the lineup. Here are a handful of artists you should firmly ring on the schedule.

Gyða Valtýsdóttir
One of the founding members of the much-admired collective Múm, Gyða’s solo work has blossomed in recent years. Whether reinterpreting works from the classical canon on her ‘Epicycle’ LP, playing dusty desert ballads on solo guitar, or performing the world’s most soft and sensual rap track, Gyða’s performances are mesmerising and hypnotic without fail.

Dan Deacon
The enchanting, incandescent, prismatic electronica of Dan Deacon has to be seen to be believed. Part of the same Baltimore-based ‘Wham City’ art and music collective that birthed Future Islands, Dan Deacon has been travelling the world for years, guiding ever-growing audiences to euphoric heights with his joyful, pulsating live show. Don’t miss it.

Jófríður Ákadóttir has grown from her folk roots to being one of the most well-known faces of the Icelandic music scene. Her first solo album, ‘Brazil,’ felt like a creative breakthrough, and it’s full of surprises live, when Jófríður brings together an ever-evolving ensemble of talented musicians to create fresh new takes on her songs.

Blanck Mass
Starting out as one half of noise duo Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power’s solo incarnation Blanck Mass was great from the beginning. His first album was a lush and gorgeous soundscape of organic ambient material, while his more recent work has a harsher edge, veering into the territory of experimental techno. Either way, it’s gripping stuff.

Sóley, Sin Fang & Örvar Smárason
This power trio started off in 2017 with a pledge to make one song together each month. The results have been fascinating to hear, with a different artist taking the lead at various times. From lovelorn ballads to upbeat alt-pop numbers, this is one of the first chances the world will have to see them perform this intriguing project live.

Mary Lattimore
The Norður og Niður lineup is an exciting mixtape for Sigur rós fans, drawing together the web of strands that make up the band’s musical DNA. Mary Lattimore’s harp compositions perhaps bring some of the blissful, harmonic sound of their calmer moments. Check out her 2016 album ‘At The Dam,’ or the accompanying ‘Collected Pieces,’ for an introduction.

After touring the world as part of a brass section that backed up Björk, Sigur rós and Florence & The Machine, Sigrún Jónsdóttir is now spreading her wings as a solo artist. Her solo compositions are bold and confident, with almost industrial electronic productions underscoring a striking singing voice. One to watch.

The legendary Scottish post-rock band has been fascinating listeners since 1997. They have released nine studio albums over the years, including the eclectic 2017 album ‘Every Country’s Sun.’ They’ve also scored soundtracks for various films and documentaries, further proving their musical versatility.

Dustin O’Halloran
Surreal, magical, and emotional, Dustin O’Halloran is an American pianist and composer who’s scored soundtracks for many films, as well as releasing solo material. His hauntingly beautiful album ‘Lumiere’ from 2011 was also a huge success. Don’t miss him–come bask in his otherworldly musical light.

Having worked with Sigur Rós for a long time as a string quartet, Icelandic band amiina make minimalistic and adorable music. Their instrumentation is diverse, from strings to ambient electronics, and from harp to singing saw—you name it, they use it. Seeing them live will definitely be a fun and lovely experience.

Read more about Norður og Niður here.

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