Here’s part two of The Reykjavík Grapevine’s guide to what’s new and who’s who at Iceland Airwaves 18. Make sure to get tickets—the VIP Upgrade is already sold out.
This article was originally published in The Reykjavík Grapevine.
While the hype bubble of Icelandic rap seems to be headed for a traditional Iceland-style burst, late-comer to the scene Dadykewl is just getting started. He arrived in style this year with a well-received album featuring a variety of party tracks, introspective trap-rap, and a catchy collaboration with Alvia Islandia. JR
Telly addicts and pop fans may recognize Elín from her participation in Iceland’s version of ‘The Voice’ in 2015, when she dazzled the panel with her angelic voice and engaging performances. With her first album slated for release in 2019, you can grab a preview of her original material at the festival. CES
Classically trained pianist and composer Eydís Evensen wrote her first piece at the the tender age of six. Her music is ethereal and beautiful, and still centered around the piano. She’ll use Airwave to premiere many compositions that have never before been performed live. Little music is online, but get a sample here. CES
Helgi’s music runs the gamut of human emotion: heartbreak, anxiety, love, ambition, loss and energy. At least, that’s what his bio on the Iceland Airwaves website says. But the multi-instrumentalist is known for his technical skill and sincerity, so make sure to bring tissues. HJC
Another TV talent show inclusion, Hildur Vala first entered the Icelandic music scene in 2005 when she won Icelandic ‘Pop Idol’ and released an album that topped charts over a long period. Since then, she released another album but it is not until now that she shares her third album “Geimvísindi,” which she will perform at Airwaves. CES
If the spectrum of the Icelandic pop-rap mainstream goes from angry-about-something aggro dudes to watery-eyed stoner party jams to fuck-the-patriarchy feminist rhyming, Huginn is floating around happily in the shallow end of the pool with some easy-going autotune pop that you might hear playing in a duty free lounge soon. JR
You might recognise Ingibjörg from Icelandic disco band Boogie Trouble. While juggling life as a young musician, Ingibjörg is also expanding her musical knowledge through a BA in Composition from Iceland Academy of the Arts. Now debuting her solo work, she’ll perform her own melodic take on the ambient genre, combining instrumentals with electronic effects. CES
Julian Civilian is the solo project of the Reykjavík underground music vet Skúli Jónsson, who, while having played Airwaves many times, is finally getting his first solo slot. With a grungy feel—think My Bloody Valentine playing feel-good tunes—Julian Civilian is certain to be a relaxed and enjoyable show. Expect intense harmonies, introspective lyrics and, above all else, good vibes. HJC
If you’re looking for some Eurovision fun at Airwaves, look no further than Karitas. The winner of the 2016 season of The Voice Iceland, this singer knows how to make her notes shimmer. While she’s collaborated with Daði Freyr and released a Christmas song, Karitas is best known for her cover of “My Love” by Sia, which she titled “Sæla.” It’s a classically tinged version of the ballad that’ll no doubt move you, and make you move. HJC
A musician who you might recognise as a touring member of Sigur Rós’s backing band, or from his own post-rock collaboration For A Minor Reflection, Kjartan Holm is emerging this year as a solo artist. Expect soundscapes, experimentation and a sense of adventure. JR