Each year Professor Althea Legaspi takes a class of Columbia College Chicago students on a journey to Iceland to cover the annual Iceland Airwaves music festival. The students experienced all that Iceland had to offer. At Airwaves 2013 we interviewed some interesting people and covered a variety of cultural and societal topics from the festival and beyond. Bryce Coachman sat down with rapper Kött Gra Pjé. I met with the 14 piece band Hymnalaya and spoke with indie record store 12 Tónar, who were celebrating their 15th anniversary. Brendan Taylor met with working doctors to talk about shortages of physicians, Kellie Wyatt explored the Icelandic prison system, Jesse Betend sat down with the then-mayor of Reykjavík Jon Gnárr and a lot more.
To say that Reykjavik rockers Mono Town have had quite a year is an understatement. The band helped inaugurate Iceland’s first All Tomorrows Parties Festival, had their KEX Hostel performance broadcast around the world on KEXP-FM, and they opened for The Pixies; not bad for a band that has yet to release their debut album. I sat down with the band before their KEX Hostel set to hear the Mono Town story and where the recording of In The Eye Of The Storm has taken them.
Nolo is an electro-pop indie act that was formed in the suburbs of Reykjavík in 2009 by Jón Lorange and Ívar Bjornsson. The group has three albums under their belt and are headed back to the studio to record their follow up to 2013’s Human. Nolo has played gigs all over Iceland with ups and downs around every corner, but a highlight came this year as they performed twice at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. Listen below to find out more on this three piece outfit who mix ominous synthesizers with dance-friendly basslines to create a unique sound all their own.