Iceland Airwaves 2018
Translation: Þóra Sif Guðmundsdóttir
November is creeping up on us, one of the most difficult months of the year. The holiday break is too far off, finals too near, and summer vacation just a fading memory. But the good news is that the Iceland Airwaves music festival is just around the corner. The festival will take place November 7-10.
For the first time, Airwaves will only be four nights instead of the usual five, which means that festivalgoers won't have to deal with the Sunday guilt, the guilt of not having the energy to attend concerts on the last day. There will be 225 artists and bands performing this time around, and this year the festival is also part of the Keychange campaign, which works to create gender balance in the music industry. Sena Live secured the rights to the festival earlier this year, so it will be exciting to see how the new organizers will fare. To help readers plan their weekend, the Student Paper has put together some of the foreign acts that are a must-see.
Rejjie Snow is the stage name of Irish rapper Alexander Anyaegbunam. He moved to the United States at a young age to play soccer, attended both high school and college in the US and has lived there ever since. He draws inspiration for both his art and style from all directions. One strong influence he named was his mother, as well as other artists such as Pharrell, David Bowie and the band Jamiroquai. The album Rejovich, released in 2013, put him on the map and reached #1 on iTunes Hip-Hop chart, knocking off Kanye West’s album Yeezus. Alexander has since gotten many amazing opportun
ities and worked with artists along the lines of Joey Bada$$, as well as playing with Madonna, MF Doom and Kendrick Lamar. His first full-length album, Dear Annie, was released earlier this year and has been described as catchy, romantic and even "close to perfection."
The Student Paper recommends the song "Egyptian Luvr."
The lo-fi pop trio Girl Ray, named after the artist Man Ray, was established four years ago when the band members were still in high school. The band is led by best friends and Londoners Poppy Hankin and Iris McConnell, as well as Sophie Moss, who plays bass. They first bonded over “hating everything the other girls in class loved.”
They are known for their sharp and witty lyrics, vocalization and creative 80s-inspired melodies. Girl Ray signed with the record company Moshi Moshi, which has produced albums from bands such as Hot Chip, Florence + the Machine and Lykke Li. Their first album, Earl Grey, came out in June 2017 and reached 16th place on Rolling Stone’s albums of the year chart.
The Student Paper recommends the song “Don’t Go Back to Ten.”
The international indie pop group Superorganism arrived on the scene in early 2017, formed out of the former members of the band the Eversons, who met in New Zealand but have been based out of London since 2015. They met Orono Noguchi, Superorganism’s lead singer, while touring in Japan and stayed in touch with her until she joined the band. Their first song, “Something on Your M.I.N.D.,” was really created all around the world, since the song was sent from one band member to another, and everyone got a chance to change and add to it.
Finally it was sent to Orono, who wrote the lyrics and sang the vocals. The group got together for the first time in September 2017, when they recorded Superorganism, which was released on March 2nd the following year. Since dropping their first album, the band's success has been incredible, to say the least. During this short period of time they've held countless sold out concerts all around the world, and music reviewers like Ezra Koenig and Frank Ocean have played their music on their radio shows.
The Student Paper recommends the song “Everybody Wants to be Famous.”
In 2016 the American band Crumb was born, although at first it was only a recording project for singer Lila Ramini, the band’s songwriter. The project evolved and the result was the band’s first EP album, Crumb. They have since released another album, Locket, which came out in June 2017. The band draws inspiration from many sources: music from the seventies, dream pop and jazz, but the final product ends up being a kind of unique jazz-psych-rock.
The Student Paper recommends the song “Locket.”
The Voidz play experimental, rhythmic punk which is characterized by the band’s unique melody. The band’s frontman is none other than Julian Casablancas from the Strokes. The band came about over the past four years, from an old friendship among several veterans with very different musical backgrounds. They are united in music and their shared interest in politics, which is clearly reflected in their lyrics. The Voidz have released two albums. Their latest, Virtue, was released in March.
The Student Paper recommends the song “QYURRYUS.”
MorMor is the stage name of Seth Nyquist, a Canadian musician who's been playing instruments and composing music as long as he can remember. His musical upbringing was diverse, and as a child and teenager he listened to the Beatles, Eminem and Led Zeppelin. These different kinds of musicians had an obvious influence on his own musical creations.
MorMor doesn’t limit himself to one musical genre, but he is mostly known for his soft and catchy indie pop music which he writes, plays, and produces himself. MorMor has released one EP album, Heaven’s Only Wishful, which has received rave reviews.
The Student Paper recommends the song “Heaven’s Only Wishful.”
Alma-Sofia Miettinen’s musical career began in 2013 when she was took 5th place in the Finnish Idol competition. Alma has released several hit songs since signing with Universal Music in 2016. Alma’s song "Chasing Highs" was released in 2017, made it onto the Top 20 list in both Britain and Germany.
Alma says she listens to all kinds of music, from electro, hip-hop, R&B and jazz, but her own work mainly revolves around pop and dance music. She is known for her fun personal style and unique voice, which has been compared with such artists as Sia and Amy Winehouse. In recent years Alma has worked with musicians Tove Lo and Charlie XCX, but is now working on her first album.
The Student Paper recommends the song “Dye My Hair.”