From Iceland — The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

Published November 9, 2014

Parker Yamasaki
Photo by
Rúnar Sigurður Sigurjónsson

It is hard to stand out with a good band name. Many bands these days have taken a counterintuitive approach: pick something impossible to remember (e.g. Nguzunguzu, AmabAdamA), entirely misleading (e.g. Adult Jazz, Girl Band), or simply Icelandic. In this arena, I would like to applaud Young Karin for their straight-forwardness. The lead singer’s name is Karin, and she (and the band) are indeed, quite young. This youth was the underpinning current of their final Airwaves appearance at Þjóðleikhús last night.

There is a certain freedom from expectation that is only present pre-adolescence. Young Karin enjoy this privilege, which made their set was that much more impressive. For a band whose Soundcloud page boasts one single song, they managed to fill an hour-long set with some pretty hearty substance.

The songs didn’t stray too far from one another, a symptom of insecure adolescence. I hesitate to call the set predictable, because like I mentioned above there was little to predict with, but it was definitely formulated and easy to break down. We, the audience, got excited when they opened with new material. We endured the slower, more melancholic center. We knew exactly when the beat was going to drop. We left feeling all warm inside when they finished with “Hearts,” their first popular release. And that is exactly what they wanted.

It was a safe move to leave the audience with the buzz of familiarity. But it was probably a good move. In a way it was a message: we are so young, and look at what we have accomplished already. So now we look toward the future. A future hinted at with earlier songs in the set, like “Black Water” and “True Believer.”

Everyone has a different experience of childhood. The experience was true to its setting, this was youth in Reykjavík (from an outsider’s perspective). Somewhat monotonous as a whole, but full of quality, and very, very pretty.

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