From Iceland — A Mr. Silla Sensation

A Mr. Silla Sensation

Published November 7, 2014

Photo by
Alda Kravec

The lights never went up in Harpa’s Silfurberg when Mr. Silla unleashed her set. She played in a fog of dim backlighting; a triangular silhouette cut by the sharp contours of black blazer crowned by tight hair bun. Her set was equally tight: a stunning voice requiring little more in back-up than the minimalist, electronic musings of her laptop, and occasionally some live guitars.

And yet, there is something refreshingly open and unboxable about Mr. Silla’s sound. Something that reflects the person behind the name, a multi-tasking musician with a voice that shares its pie. Sigurlaug Gísladóttir, or just Silla, has played and continues to play with a plethora of local acts such as Low Roar, Snorri Helgason, múm and Boogie Trouble. No newbie to the scene, Mr. Silla in name has been around since 2005, but it has taken at least three distinct shapes, the latest being the pop-synth solo-project debuting at Airwaves 2014.

While her official Harpa show has come and gone and her album is not expected till early next year, you still have an opportunity to hear Mr. Silla off-venue tomorrow, Saturday, at Bravó. While hard to compete with the sound and effects that Harpa provides, Mr. Silla’s off-venue is definitely worth a listen as Grapevine learnt at Eymundsson bookstore this evening, where we caught up with Silla to clarify a few details.

Mr. Silla has been around for a while but how is the latest incarnation different?

Really you could divide Mr. Silla into three. First, there was the electronic-bluesy feel of Mr. Silla and Mongoose, which started in 2005. Then there was Mr. Silla the rock band and now there is the solo pop-synth–or however you want to call it–Mr. Silla. It’s a changeable thing.

Pop-synth works, but there’s also something melancholic about the songs you played. Is there a source for the grief?

Yes, definitely. You can call it a heartbreak album. A lot of the songs are about growing apart.

How long have you been working on the songs and when can we expect an album?

The album is due out early next year. It’s the result of stuff I’ve been working on over the past couple years, but most of it is pretty recent, like from the past few months.

What’s the ‘Mr.’ in Mr. Silla all about? Is it an alter-ego?

No, not really, it’s just a nickname that stuck a while back. It doesn’t mean much more than that.

Damn! Really? No message of great social or political import?

No, not really. It’s just me, Silla.

So should I use pronominal “he” or “she” when referring to Mr. Silla?


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