I love Icelandic Music Alliance Pact
Online I love Icelandic Music Alliance Pact Mixtape
The I love Icelandic music blog & The Icelandic Music Maffia blog contributed to an international initiative, the Music Alliance Pact (MAP) since October 2008. Jason of the Scottish blog The Pop Cop had the idea to start The Team MAP. Since October 2008, music bloggers from around the globe, blogging about the music scene of one particular country, select once a month a fresh song representing their blog & country. All these tracks are posted by the MAP Team collectively & simultaneously on those blogs on the 15th of each month, giving each nation's track a great international exposure. The Music Alliance Pact started with 12 blogs, now more than 30 blogs take part.
I love Icelandic Music Alliance Pact Mixtape
1. October 2008
The man behind the band Plúseinn is Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson also known as Árni Plúseinn (Árni +1). He released an album called “Lettuce And Tomato”, made at his apartment in Brooklyn, New York under the name Hungry And The Burger. Árni Rúnar is and was involved in a lot of Icelandic bands and projects (e.g. Hairdoctor, Motion Boys) and is a founding member of the band FM Belfast.
2. November 2008
Hellvar started in 2004 when the founding members Heiða Eiríksdóttir and Elvar Geir Sævarsson (Heiða + Elvar = Hellvar) moved to Berlin to study philosophy. Heiða had been singer in the band Unun which released 2 albums (“Super Shiny Dreams” (Iceland version of the CD was called “æ”) and “Ótta” (Almost morning) (1999). Heiða made 2 solo albums “Svarid” (The answer) (2000), a Charles Bukowski tribute (2003) and one album as Heiða & Heiðingjarnir (Birgir Baldursson, Sverrir Ásmundsson & Elvar Geir Sævarsson) called “tiufingurupptilguds” (2003). Material written for their rock band was rearranged for a drum machine. Band became a trio with Flosi þorgeirsson as bass player, who played in the famous Icelandic band HAM. Early 2007 Hellvar became a quartet: Flosi left the band, but child prodigy Alexandra came on guitar and bass virtuoso Sverrir was added in the line-up. Together the two boys and two girls stir up a cocktail from electronica to new-wave with a twist of lime. Debut album “Bat out of Hellvar” was released in the end of 2007 and was the first release on the new Icelandic record label Kimi Records. The band toured in the USA, Germany and China.
3. December 2008
Vicky, previously called Vicky Pollard (named after the Little Britain character), is one of the coolest new Icelandic rock bands. The band started in November 2006 when they accidentally got together and started jamming in their hometown Hafnarfjörður. They produce a sort of poppy metal or heavy pop. In 2008, these four girls and male drummer recorded their debut album “Pull Hard”, which was released on the Töfrahellirinn label in October 2008.
4. January 2009
Singapore Sling: “Martian Arts”
Singapore Sling is a darkly, neo-pyschedelic band formed in Reykjavik in 2000, and often compared with The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground & My Bloody Valentine. Their debut album “The Curse Of Singapore Sling" was released in the summer of 2003. Band members are singer-songwriter-guitarist Henrik Baldvin Björnsson, Einar “Sonic” Kristjansson on leadguitar, Bibi on bass, Björn Viktorsson on drums and Siggi Shaker on maracas and tambourine. They were supporting act of Brian Jonestown Massacre & The Raveonettes. The band played gigs in the USA, UK, Scandinavia & Germany. Song of their fourth album, “Perversity, Desperation and Death” released in 2009.
5. February 2009
Hjaltalín: “Goodbye July/Margt að Ugga”
Hjaltalín is a nine-piece collective, almost an orchestra, that uses a wide eclectic selection of instruments, bassoon to bass, to create a wall of sound for their folky indie popsongs. This song has singer Högni Egilsson’s voice, a catchy chorus, broken up with an Icelandic hymn as interlude sung by Sígrídur (Sigga) Thorlacius. Album “Sleepdrunk Seasons” was released on Kimi Records label late 2007, voted best album of 2007 at the Icelandic Music Awards.
6. March 2009
Ólafur Arnalds: “Himininn er að hrynja, en stjörnurnar fara þér vel”
Ólafur Arnalds is a talented 21-year-old musician, part of the new generation of classical composers. He hails from the suburban town of Mosfellsbær, just outside Reykjavík. He has toured extensively around Europe and North America with a live string quartet and last summer he supported Sigur Rós on some European shows. The song here – translated as “The sky is falling but the stars look good with your dress” – is on his "Variations Of Static" EP which shows off his crackling electronics and sounds.
7. April 2009
Lay Low: “Last time around”
Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir is a 26-year-old half-Sri Lankan, half-Icelandic singer, born in London. She sings under the name Lay Low and her music is a combination of blues, folk and country. Lastyear, Lovísa has already supported Emiliana Torrini on tour and signed a record deal with Nettwerk. “Last Time Around” is on her third solo album, “Farewell Good Night’s Sleep”.
8. May 2009
Retro Stefson: “Papa Paulo III” (Re-Edit)
Retro Stefson was founded in late 2006 by a group of eight teenagers, school friends from Austurbæjarskóli. They write catchy, semi-pop/semi-rock crossover songs and give great live performances. Last year the band released their debut album “Montaña” on the Icelandic Kimi Records label. The band’s principal songwriter is Unnsteinn Manual Stefánsson. The lyrics are in English, Portugese and Icelandic.
9. June 2009
For a Minor Reflection: “Óhljód”
For A Minor Reflection are a quartet from Reykjavík who play energetic, melodious, instrumental post-rock. They have earned comparisons to Explosions In The Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “Óhljóð”, which means discordant noise, is taken from their 2007 debut album “Reistu Þig Við, Sólin Er Komin Á Loft… “ (“Rise and shine, the sun’s up…”) on Blippr.com. Guitarist Kjartan Holm’s older brother Georg plays bass in Sigur Rós, whom they supported on tour in 2008.
10. July 2009
Sudden Weather Change: “Prey mode”
Sudden Weather Change is a five-piece rock band from Reykjavik who have been compared to Sonic Youth and Pavement. “Prey Mode” is taken from their debut album released on Kimi Records label, called “Stop! Handgrenade In The Name Of Crib-Death 'nderstand”.
11. August 2010
Agent Fresco: “Above these city lights”
Agent Fresco formed in early 2008 with the goal of competing in the Músíktilraunir (Musical Experiments) contest, a sort of Battle of the Bands, which they subsequently won. The quartet write complex songs with lots of rhythm changes and received the Brightest Hope (Best Newcomer) Award at the 2008 Icelandic Music Awards. The band, who released a five-song EP called “Lightbulb Universe” December 2008, are currently working on their debut album.
12. September 2009
Reykjavik!: “Æji, Plís”
Reykjavík! is a raw rock band in which most members originate not from Reykjavík but Ísafjörður, the capital of the Westfjords. This is one of the loudest Icelandic bands, a collective of philosophy majors, shopmongers and social workers, with an exclamation mark partly as a reference to the vast amount of hyperbole Iceland’s capital receives. “Æji, Plís” is taken from their second album, “The Blood” (Kimi Records). The song features a surf-rock guitar riff, rhythmic bass, kick-drum percussion and Bóas’ vocals fluctuating between grunting, chanting and falsetto.
13. October 2009
FM Belfast: “Synthia”
The band FM Belfast was formed late 2005 by Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson (aka Árni Plúseinn) and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir. For the Iceland Airwaves festival 2006 the band expanded into a live act with up to 8 (or even more) members. Core of the band is now a quartet with Árni Vilhjálmsson (of Motherfuckers in the house) and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (of múm). This MAP Song “Synthia” is on their debut album “How to make friends”, released on the band’s own record label World Champion Records in 2008.
14. November 2009
kimono (with small k) is an experimental rock trio hailing from Reykjavik and Halifax, Canada. They have released 4 full-length albums, the 3rd one in collaboration with Icelandic producer Curver (of Ghostigital). "Black" is the band’s fourth album, “Easy Music For Difficult People”.
15. December 2009
Punk-rock trio Morðingjarnir (The Murderers) play fast and sharp three-to-four chord songs, often with some dark humour. Atli, Haukur and Helgi are influenced by Dead Kennedys and local punk heroes Fræbbblarnir. “Manvisa” is a song featured on their third album, “Flóttinn Mikli”, with guest vocals from Kata of the band Mammút.
16. January 2011
Bloodgroup: “My arms”
Bloodgroup was formed in 2006 by Halez, Lilja, Raggi and Janus during some boring winter days on the east coast of Iceland and they make catchy electronic dance-pop. Debut album “Sticky Situation” was released on the band's own label, Sild Ehf, and got excellent reviews. Its follow-up, “Dry Land”, was released on the Record Records label. "My Arms" is their latest single.
17. February 2010
Mammút : “Svefnsykt”
Mammút was formed in 2003 by two boys and three girls, aged 14-16. David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine called them "a really good band". They played SXSW in 2007 and toured with Belgian band dEUS in Iceland and Germany. In 2008, Mammút released their second album, “Karkari”, through Icelandic label Record Records. “Svefnsykt” was its first single.
18. March 2010
Sometime: “Heart of spades”
Sometime, a band formed by Icelandic music veterans, puts catchy dance-infused songs on the menu. Ingredients are the strong voice of frontwoman Diva De La Rosa plus the inventive drums of TheDanni, flavoured by turntable whizzkid DJ Moonshine and manipulated by Oculus. You can taste it while listening to the single "Heart Of Spades" from the album “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.
19. April 2010
Eliza Newman: “Hopeless case”
London-based Eliza Newman Geirsdóttir was the lead singer of the all-girl band Bellatrix (Kolrassa Krokridandi) and the rock band Skandinavia. She's a trained opera singer and also plays violin, guitar, ukulele and piano. In 2007, she released her first solo album “Empire Fall” on Lavaland Records. “Hopeless Case" is from her second solo album "Pie In The Sky", released on the Smekkleysa label in 2009.
20. May 2010
Who Knew: “Sharpen the knife”
Who Knew is a six-piece indie power-pop band that produces catchy melodies and groovy beats. The band was formed by lead singer Armann Ingvi Armannson and backing vocalist and guitar player Baldur Helgi Snorrason in 2006. “Sharpen The Knife” is taken from debut album “Bits And Pieces Of A Major Spectacle”, which was released in Europe on the German 101berlin label on 21. May 2010.
21. June 2010
Feldberg: “Dreamin’ “
Feldberg was formed in January 2009 by Einar Tönsberg, better known as Eberg, and Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld, the singer of the band Sometime. The duo decided to meet every Tuesday night for a couple of months and write some songs together. One of their songs, “Don’t be a stranger”, was used in an advertisement and later on released as a single. Debut album “Don’t be a stranger” was released by Icelandic label Cod Music last year. The song “Dreamin’” was Song of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards 2009.
22. July 2010
Cosmic Call: “Owls”
Cosmic Call is a five-piece indie rock band from Akranes, a small town on the West Coast of Iceland. Band members are singer/guitarist Sigurmon, Fjölnir on guitar, synthesizer & backing vocals, Begga on bass and backing vocals, drummer Pétur & Ása on violin & synthesizer. They are inspired by Arcade Fire, The Cure, The Pixies, Joy Division & Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They recorded one EP so far, which was released on 24. July 2009. The song “Owls” is a track of this limited, hand sewed edition of 1000 copies made by the band & family members.
23. August 2010
Pascal Pinon: “Djöflasnaran”
Teenager quartet Pascal Pinon, named after the freak Pasqual Pinon, the two-headed Mexican, released their eponymous debut last year. An album full of simple, pop-folk songs in Icelandic and English, written by Ásthildur and Jófríður. At the moment, the 16 years old girls are recording a second album to be released on Morr Music label. This label will also re-release their debut album, containing this song "Djöflasnaran" or Devil’s snare, a reference to Harry Potter.
24. September 2010
The band Bárujárn, Icelandic for "corrugated iron", started in the fall of 2008. They play gloomy surf garage rock flavoured with metal or disco. The band members are Oddur on bass, Sindri on guitar, Leifur on drums, and Hekla on theremin. Bárujárn has recorded an EP that features the song "Skuggasörf" and will record a full album soon.
25. October 2010
Captain Fufanu: “Lava”
Captain Fufanu are two youngsters and probably the brightest hope of the Icelandic electronic music scene. Hrafnkell Flóki Einarsson and Guðlaugur Halldór Einarsson (sons of a different Einar, so not brothers) aka Kaktus and Gulli played their first gig at the age of 16 in 2008. The duo mix dub, techno, house and experimental electronica. The song "Lava" is unreleased.
26. November 2010
First we had Sykurmolarnir, known worldwide as The Sugarcubes. Now an Icelandic electronic trio of youngsters from Reykjavik goes under the alias Sykur ("Sugar"). Their shows are fun-filled, sexy and energetic and they collaborate with local rappers and pop and rock singers. Rocketship, which has guest vocals from Útidúr singer Rakel Mjöll, is taken from Sykur's debut album "Frábært eða frábært", which was released a year ago on the Icelandic Record Records label.
27. December 2010
Nóra: “Opin fyrir morði”
Nóra started in a dark garage on the west side of Reykjavik. In 2006, brother and sister Egill and Auður, along with their friend Hrafn, started as a trio. In 2008 the band became a quintet when Bragi and Frank joined. They play honey-glazed indie pop, influenced by Radiohead, Bob Dylan, TV on the Radio, The Mars Volta, The Pixies, Roy Orbison and Neil Young. All members are multi-instrumentalists by nature, so often switching instruments mid-set. “Opin fyrir morði” is a song of their debut album, “Er einhver að hlusta?” (Is anyone listening?), released in early summer 2010.
28. January 2011
Miri: “Góða konan”
Miri began at the LungA festival in the east fjords of Iceland in 2003. The debut EP, “Fallegt Þorp“, was recorded live one night during this festival in 2005, produced by Curver Thoroddsen. The band plays almost wordless, progressive noise mixed with beautiful guitar work. “Góða konan” is featured on their 2010 full album “Okkar”.
29. February 2011
Rökkurró: “Sólin Mun Skína”
Rökkurró’s music is built around Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir’s voice and swooping strings. Their debut album "Það Kólnar Í Kvöld…" (“It’s Getting Colder Tonight…”) was released in 2007. Sólin Mun Skína is taken from their more mature second album, Í Annan Heim (“In Another World”), released last year by Icelandic label 12 Tónar and produced by Alex Somers, partner and music collaborator of Jónsi of Sigur Rós.
30. March 2011
Ikea Satan: “The Wait”
The trio Ikea Satan plays satanic blues-metal. Unnur Kolka drums, Pétur Úlfur plays guitar and sings, and Hannes Þór plays bass. "The Wait" is taken from their three-song "Sound Of The Planet" EP, released last year on Icelandic label Ching Ching Bling Bling.
31. April 2011
Skálmöld is a metal band formed in August 2009. The six members had been formerly active in other bands, not all metal. Their music can be described as powerful, melodic and epic Viking metal, along with various folk influences. The lyrics follow the strict rules of traditional Icelandic poetry. "Kvaðning" is featured on last year's debut record "Baldur", a concept album telling the epic and dramatic tale of the viking Baldur.
32. May 2011
Nolo: “Pretty face”
Nolo is a young, very promising band from Reykjavik. They are two 18-year-old guys, Nonnji Lorange and Ivör Björnsson, who had already played together in different bands for some years before they deceided to work together as Nolo. They record all their music with lo-fi equipment in Ivör's basement, using two guitars (electric and acoustic) and an organ.
33. June 2011
Morning After Youth: “Lived”
Morning After Youth is a four-piece band with a smooth and artsy sound to their music. They are working on their first album which will hopefully be ready this summer. "Lived" was recorded in the famous Studio Sýrland with Adda 800 and Börkur.
34. July 2011
Valdimar is a fresh force within the Icelandic music scene. The band's music spans the whole emotional spectrum, from intimate ballads to powerful, energetic rock. Valdimar colours its music with heavy brass, guitar and keyboard textures. They were nominated in the brightest hope category at the Icelandic Music Awards. "Undraland" is the title track of their debut album, released at the end of 2010 on the Geimsteinn label.
35. August 2011
Coral: “The Underwhelmer”
Rock band Coral have been playing together since 2000, effectively starting their career in 2002 with the release of their nameless low-budget EP commonly referred to as "The Yellow Album" by listeners. Since then Coral have been unleashing their raw brand of rock 'n' roll on audiences, experimenting with classical, jazz and rock influences within a rock-quartet format. Last month they released their second album, "Leopard Songs", on the Record Records label, from which "The Underwhelmer" is taken.
36. September 2011
Samaris: “Hljóma Þú”
Samaris consist of singer Jófríður Ákadóttir, computer programmer Þórður Kári Steinþórsson and clarinet player Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, three students from Reykjavík aged 17-18 who came together in January 2011. The trio plays a mixture of trip-hop, dubstep and downtempo beats. This year they won the Icelandic battle-of-the-bands competition Músíktilraunir. "Hljóma Þú" is the title track of their first EP.
37. October 2011
Ruddinn: “Cover the distance”
Ruddinn is one guy, Bertel Ólafsson from Hafnarfjörður, who has released three albums to date. Ruddinn works primarily alone but receives a helping hand occasionally. He mixes electro pop with indie guitar and a dash of 80s shoegaze. "Cover The Distance", a track from his third album "I Need A Vacation", features Heiða Eiríksdóttir of the band Hellvar on vocals.