From Iceland — Artist Of The Year: Inspector Spacetime

Artist Of The Year: Inspector Spacetime

Published January 7, 2022

Artist Of The Year: Inspector Spacetime
John Pearson
Photo by
Magnús Andersen

Inspector Spacetime materialise unexpectedly in the middle of the Grapevine Awards party, and tumble out of their time-travelling British phone box. We suspect that they’d actually set the controls for late nineties London clubland—their spiritual home—but once it dawns on them that they’ve won our Artist Of The Year award, the trio of energetic young danceheads couldn’t be happier.

“This is a huge honour that I didn’t expect us to have,” says Elías Geir Óskarsson, de facto leader of Inspector Spacetime, (only because he’s the one who answers the group’s emails).

“Yeah I was not expecting this either, and I’m really honoured!” Egill Gauti Sigurjónsson chimes in. He formed the group with Elías back in the early stages of the pandemic, shortly before they recruited Vaka Agnarsdóttir to sing and complete the Spacetime trio.

“It’s a great title to have,” says Vaka, “and I love that people love us!”

With one remarkable album, a couple of great videos and twelve months of unmissable high-energy gigs under their collective belt, Inspector Spacetime have earned the accolade. However their eponymously titled album nearly never saw the light of day, due to the fact that Elías accidentally deleted all the recordings. Oops. Elías…?

“I’m very proud of it! Because we had to do it again,” he says of his finger-slip, and the subsequent process of re-recording the album from scratch. “We did it better. If I hadn’t done that, maybe we wouldn’t be here today.”

The world would certainly be musically poorer had Inspector Spacetime never travelled back and changed the past for the better. The album, which finally emerged at the start of 2021, is an energetic, eclectic bounce around all the best touchstones of dance—from the sweet UK two-step of the song “Hitta Mig” to the frenetic drum ‘n’ bass of the titular track—and all stops in between.

In a year of firsts and new experiences for Inspector Spacetime, a definite highlight was their biggest gig yet at LungA Festival in Seyðisfjörður. Besides the novelty of being put up in a hotel—and we do hope that they hit that minibar hard—the band also got a taste of what might be in store for them when they played the town’s gymnasium.

Egill recalls the surreal experience: “People in the front were asking us to take a selfie with them, like famous people!” “Yeah,” laughs Vaka, “they were riding the barricades with their phones!”

The idea of future celebrity might take a while to settle with the band members. In the meantime, they can survey this year’s achievements with pride.

“It’s crazy,” Egill reflects on their award. “I remember last year Bríet was Artist Of The Year. I really didn’t think that we would win the next one.”

It’s well-deserved, Inspector Spacetime. And welcome to your own party, which we suspect has only just started.

Elías tolerates a celebratory kiss from Egill. Photo by Art Bicnick

Honourable Mentions

Hipsumhaps, kef LAVÍK, BSÍ, Bára Gísladóttir and Bjarki.

Reykjavík Grapevine Music Awards Panel

Alexander Jean de Fontenay: art student, music expert and DJ
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen: journalist with a Ph.D. in sociomusicology
Hannah Jane Cohen: performing artist and former culture editor at The Reykjavík Grapevine
Nína Ricter: musician and culture journalist at Fréttablaðið
Valur Grettisson: editor-in-chief at The Reykjavík Grapevine

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