From Iceland — Hressó – Friday

Hressó – Friday

Published October 17, 2009

This night at Hressó was a Trúbatrix night. All female artists, troubadours. I must admit, I’m not walking through the door all over excited about the prospect.
Songbird broke the ice that night. This cute folksy-three piece from Keflavík is playing their first time at the festival, and they put on a fair show of blend dreamy folk music.
Somehow I was under the impression that the next performer, Elín Ey, purportedly, was someone completely different. She plays easygoing, relaxed American music. It’s folksy, home-y, cozy. Very lo-fi. There are not a lot of people here; I have the feeling that not every one realizes this is a venue, since it’s pretty well hidden behind the maze that is Hressó. As it turns out, this is not Elín Ey playing after all, since the line up has drastically changed since the issuing of the Airwaves pamphlet, and only the first band holds their status. I have no idea why this is happening but what I do know is that I don’t like it. Elín Ey is not even on the current schedule. This artist turns out to be Halla Norðfjörð, and she is very minimalist, down to earth not so interesting songs. This girl is not without talent, but I’m not loving this.
Mysterious Marta is on next.  There are a little more people in here this time around, not a lot though. I feel like all these girls sound kind of the same, at least so far, with the questionable exception of this one mastering the cute Icelandic accent better than the rest.
I feel kind of weird about how all these girls have very girly voices beyond the point of what I can consider normal. This is more of a sit in show than a standing/dancing one. I’m not a fan though, sitting in sounds kind of nice, but it gets boring after a while…
Anyway. Her set was very toned, down to earth, homey, kind of warming, and made me think of the American Midwest for some reason. I’ve never been there though, so I have no real reason to feel that. But I’m not a fan, sadly, of Mysterious Marta.
Eliza Newman is on next. A breeze of fresh air, to an extent. I feel like the first three artists have left the same shallow footstep on my already compromised soul, but finally there’s a change. Elíza Newman plays very minimal music, as the previous artist but still this tents to have a little more impact than any of the above. Her lyrics make a little more sense as well. More songwriting is involved, too. Their song, second to last, is kind of rocking as well.
So. Elín Ey decided to make a surprise entrance after all. After expecting her on the schedule and then having her bail, I’m not sure what to think. No, seriously, what’s going on you guys? I thought Airwaves were supposed to hold a steady time schedule one could count on? This is not the fact here tonight. Anyway. Elín Ey is in every way a little better than any of the previous acts. This girl actually offers confidence, good song writing, and a really good falsetto! Good, creative songwriting, too. All I’ve got to say is, despite line up changes, my hat’s off to Elín Ey: the best troubadour in Iceland.
Ok. My drink exploded all over my notebook. Super cool. So here’s Myrra. They differ from the rest of the bands that played before them, by featuring a full set up, two guitars, bassist, drummer and a singer. I feel there’s a lot more actual songwriting going on here than with the rest of the bands. Would listen again.
Being another solo artist, Christine Owman is a lot more edgy than the previous acts. She actually sound a lot more musical, her music sounds a lot more mature than the rest of the bunch. Though being alone on the stage, she doesn’t seem to feel uncomfortable; she seems to feel comfortably at home. She also has interesting visual effects rolling in the background while playing her music, being interesting, kind of hot music. Would buy her album. She also plays Ukulele, which is always a plus for a lone musical warrior.  
Uni. Now, this is just a cute overload. Achieving a band-like feeling, with three guitars, bass and drums, creating a semi-mystical atmosphere. Still the focus is still on cute. Greatly on cute. I don’t know how to feel about it all.
Þórunn Antónía is pretty poppy, she also has a whole band with her. She’s attractive, her band sounds like something from the 90s though. In a kind of a nice way. It’s familiar, and safe. Yet no one is doing it. Because it’s so 90s. I think this show is the first I’ve heard from her since ‘05 or ’06, when she released an album, but she’s still pretty much the same thing. VERY talented, but not very creative.

Photo by: Léo Stefánsson

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