The Icelandic language at a glance to anyone who doesn’t know it, is strange and intimidating. But to Icelanders it’s a thing of poetry and beauty, it’s a national pride. Listen as Thorhaller Eythorsson and Torfi Tulinius, professors of linguistics at the University of Iceland, discuss the languages long history, and how over the last 800 years it’s resisted outside influences and remained purely Icelandic.
Mammút is a mainstay of the Icelandic indie rock scene. After winning Músiktilraunir, Iceland’s annual battle of the bands, in 2004, they went on to win numerous nominations and awards at the Icelandic Music Awards. You won’t want to miss them at this year’s Iceland Airwaves festival.
Listen as lead singer Kata Mogensen and bassist Ása Dyradóttir discuss heartache on stage, the difficulties of sticking together as a band, and their much anticipated move into the American music scene.
Mammút will be playing at Gamla Bíó on Wednesday November 5 at 11:20 p.m. and at the Reykjavík Art Museum on Saturday November 8 at 9:00 p.m.
Their name translates to exactly what it sounds like: atonal blues. Atónal Blús isn’t actually a blues band, but frontman Gestur Guðnason chose the moniker because it reflects a “musical paradox.” While blues is rooted in a specific key, the term ‘atonal’ means quite the opposite. Listeners can find an unexpected contrast in Atónal Blús’ sound, which utilizes a rare blend of ancient folk and electrified rock.
Before you catch Atónal Blús for their Thursday night set at Airwaves, learn a little about the formation of their debut album, Höfuðsynd, including how they created their unique sound and the backstory for their album cover. Plus, you’ll get to hear Guðnason’s impressions of musical instruments.
(The musical tracks featured in the clip are listed in the order they appear: “Lítið Ljón”, “Apolelegy”, and “Svartur Köttur og Pardus Bleik”. Stream them in full on Atónal Blús’ Bandcamp.)
Atónal Blús will be playing Airwaves at IÐNÓ on Thursday, November 6th at 8 p.m. GMT.