Iceland Airwaves has an off-venue program in all the major indie record shops in the downtown area. I started my first Airwaves night at Lucky Records where I saw four skilled musicians play for a pumped and friendly crowd. Kvikindi have been evolving their sound and visual identity over the past few years. Their music videos are cool and impressive. Tonight, the singer had an especially great presence and spoke directly to the crowd on numerous occasions throughout their show. She talked about being pregnant and told a funny story about going to IKEA with her mom and her having the lyrics to Kvikindi’s then-new-single ‘Ríða mér’—Google it at your own risk—stuck in her head, humming and singing the lyrics outloud, albeit reluctantly. Cool mom.
Their setlist was 50% sugar sweet, reflective pop and 50% powerful, synth-driven rock numbers. Their set culminated in them performing a cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ in Icelandic which was epic. I would love to see Kvikindi play at a bigger venue since their sound and energy seems to be fully capable of entertaining a packed venue of a higher capacity. They ended their set with ‘Miss Iceland’—their newest single which is out now which left me feeling melancholic in a good way. Kvikindi is playing again Thursday at 18:30–19:10 at IA Center.
Next up I walked to The Nordic House to see something completely different. What awaited there was the Greenlandic musician Andachan. For half an hour, The Nordic House was transformed into a dance club with Andachan playing a set of eclectic and beat-heavy music of various speeds and intensities.
His music was moody in different ways and spoke pretty much for itself, albeit being mostly instrumental save for a few vocals in Greenlandic. Andachan seems kind of shy but seemed to really like his own music—he himself was head-bopping most of the time—which added a layer of enjoyment to this experience. People could not hold back their own head-bopping and I heard someone murmur that they had never seen so many people head-slam in The Nordic House.
Despite having read an article about the rise of accidents caused by electric scooters in Iceland I scooted off to KEX Hostel. Stay safe fam. My plan was to see Spacestation—a band I had been meaning to see for a while. And I loved every minute of it. In pure rock’n’roll fashion they made the audience wait at least 10 or 15 minutes before going up on the stage. And boy can these guys rock. In the purest and rawest understanding of the word. Their music and attitude vibrates with the past while bringing a new and personal touch. Spacestation has more accessible songs like ‘Hvítt vín’ which definitely has song-of-the-year potential. Then there were more raw and jangly guitar songs with distorted vocals which kind-of melted together.
Someone in the crowd screams “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL” as the singer sing-screams “HVER Í FOKKANUM ERT ÞÚ”—English: WHO THE F*** ARE YOU”. Guys and girls dance with each other to the beat and sing the lyrics. Spacestation made being at KEX Hostel a great time—this venue used to be synonymous with Iceland Airwaves festival and being here again made me happy. Spacestation is playing again on Saturday, 18:00–18:45 at 12 tónar.
My last stop was at Iðnó for Jae Tyler’s set. Tyler radiates a triumphant energy which is so infectious I might have to ask a specialist for help. He brings both tremendous fun and drama to a stage that I have only seen in a handful of artists. He appears as a friendly-yet-contemplative, enigmatic song-and-dance-man that exists somewhere between fact and fiction. He has a beautiful voice and tonight it was graciously accompanied by a new rhythm section consisting of bass-guitar-legend Ingibjörg Turchi and drum-genius Sólrún Mjöll. Sólrún has a bunch of masterful drum-covers of songs on her instagram which I thoroughly recommend you to check out. Tyler is playing again on Friday, 17:00–17:45 at 12 tónar.
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