so on Friday the good folks at Iceland airwaves announced some more bands that would be playing at this years festival. And it looks as if it may be starting to pick up a gear in the quality of music that will be there.
Firstly lets pick up on one thing. I WAS ACTUALLY SUCCESSFUL IN PREDICTING SOMETHING! Now stop laughing there, but in my last airwaves post, i implored that Airwaves needed to embrace much more diverse electronic and dubstep acts. I gave an example of Mount Kimbie as a good act to get. And lo and behold, one the acts announced was,… Mount Kimbie!!
I totally recommend you go and see these guys. they are one of those acts that are trying to create new ways of moulding dubstep into something a bit more, well…. Glacial! Their Maybes EP last years was truly excellent and i recommend you get it.
Now lets look at the others shall we? Let´s place them into the groups “ah i know these guys” and “who, what the hell are these guys??”
Ahh i know there guys
Tunng: They were one of the spearheaders of the whole “New-Folk” scene that sprang out from the UK in the last decade. They mix their acoustic, picked folk sound with electronic beats and whistles. Yep it´s folktronica people! Achieved a bit of crossover success a few years ago when a cover of Bloc Party´s “The pioneers” was used on the US TV Drama “The OC”. Go and listen to these guys if you´re a fan of the likes of Múm, Seabear and Sprengjuhöllin.
Hercules and Love Affair: Of When Anthony Hegarty of Anthony and the Johnsons does Disco. Ok that´s a bit unfair as he´s only an occasional vocalist to this outfit. Part of the DFA records gang, so expect lots of warped disco sounds and cowbells. Oh and lots of Amyl Nitrate….
The Antlers: An acoustic rock group from Brooklyn, New Yoik. Their 2009 album “The hospice” made all the right noises in the alternative music press (it got a “best new music” stamp from Pitchfork for example). And it´s certainly a bleak, bittersweet affair to listen to (man loves woman, woman dies of Cancer). People say i hate acoustic music, but i just say that most acoustic musicians need to try harder. Like these guys. A Recommended listen
Everything Everything: An indie-pop group from Manchester. their music is slightly hard to pin down. their vocal style and harmonies are reminiscent of the Futureheads. And they have post-punk funk guitar riffs and the like, but it´s all chopped and stapled back together so it sounds all jumpy and 68% more different that most of their contemporaries. Pop, but FUN pop that it´s not too embarrassing to listen to.
Who, what the hell are these guys??
Alex Metric: Ok i hadn´t heard of this guy so i did some searching around. Plays a lot of beat heavy electro that starts of a bit like Justic, then his more recent stuff has taken on an 80´s flavour to it. At least he understadn that to get a crowd moving you need a powerful bass hook. will be playing with special guest Charlie XCX who´s a rapper or something
Tune-Yards: Very HIIIIIP guys that aren´t from Brooklyn but from California. They play a rather low-fi mix of plucked string instruments and percussion that seems to been recorded with muffled microphones. But it´s combined with very soulful vocals that take on an african flavour. Not an immediate attention grabber, their music can be placed in the “grower” category.
Jaakko and Jay: lovable Finns who sound all happy and positive. that certainly makes a change! Their music is simple acoustic punky Sparky tunes. Reminds me of shame about ray-era Lemonheads and the Violent Femmes. Will be great to listen to in a small venue drunk out of skull.
S.H. Draumur: I had never even heard of these guys. Until it was pointed out to me that they were a cult punk band that included “the most knowledgable man about Icelandic Music” Dr. Gunni. Last played apparently 17 years ago, so it´s apparently a big thing that they´re getting back together. I´m sure most of my fellow Icelanders will go ape over them.
So that’s it then. My impression is that things are now starting to get better and the quality of acts now being announced is starting to improve. Still no sign of Zola Jesus, Vialka, Male bonding or Broadcast. And on top of those there are now several new acts that i would add to that, but i´ll wait till later.