OK. So you know it’s bad when you sleep without moving for close to 10 hours and you yell “there is no way in hell it’s 10:30!” at your phone alarm. That was my case this morning. It was a crazy beginning to a crazy day in Reykjavík. Emails to be sent, shows to see, and, just like yesterday plenty of food and drink to be consumed by myself. Tonight’s festivities were quite eventful to say the least. We camped out at a beautiful little venue called Iðnó located over by city hall, in the snow might I add, yes, snow, waiting to get in to see the 12 person wonder that is Útidúr.
The group hails from the Seltjarnarnes and Reykjavík, blending a sound that is all over the board. You pick up a bit of a Spanish traditional sound along with a bit of an Arcade Fire rock edge, and a very jumpy brass section. But let me just state this now. These guys are of a completely different breed then Arcade Fire. They are unique, and extremely talented.
The vocal blending and on stage chemistry of Rakel Mjöll and Gunnar Örn can be identified by, and this will be my last Arcade Fire reference I promise, of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. They are both very infectious in the way they present their songs and show so much life through each piece of music. Rakel dances about stage like a flamenco dancer you would see in the movies on top of singing her ass off. And Gunnar is strumming away at that Epiphone Casino, pouring his heart into every single note. It is so hard to look away from such a beautiful and unique pair of performers.
The set was very high energy and extremely danceable, taking so many different influences that is hard to list any more than the one’s I’ve mentioned. Útidúr is a band that is extremely powerful and beautiful at the same time. Another musical power discovered at this year’s Airwaves festival that has left a very big impact on my view of Icelandic music . A band I can see myself headbanging too during one of the major horn parts while driving to get a Domino’s Pizza back in the states (thank you Swedish friends for your love of Domino’s). Oh well, haters gonna hate but I’m gonna rock it out to Útidúr for a long as I please! These guys are a must and I mean MUST for fans of Beirut, and Calexico.
For more info and to hear Útidúr in action check them out at myspace.com/utidur