Four must-listen-to Icelandic bands

I did something I’ve never done before in my life; I got out of the U.S. I wish I could say that it was for a European band tour, but it was actually for a long overdue personal vacation and a bit of a honeymoon that we never really took. This summer, my husband and I went to Iceland for seven days and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. While I could write to you forever about the impossibly beautiful landscape of the country, I will digress and talk about some of their lovely bands since this is, indeed, a music related blog!


 Our first night in Iceland, we stayed in Reykjavik, and apparently we were only two houses down from the drummer of Sigur Rós. Obviously, they are very well known, but in case you have been living under a (non-lava) rock for the last 10 or so years, check out this video for "Olsen Olsen", featuring their beautiful music alongside their beautiful landscape.


Next up, we have one of my favorite artists ever, who is a little newer to the scene, but chances are you have heard of him as well. I was lucky enough to see Ásgeir at Milkboy in Philly on my birthday last year, but not fortunate enough to see him while in Iceland (or stay on the same street as him). This video of "King and Cross" also features some of the country’s amazing landscape as well as his sweet, sweet voice (and very handsome face). Fun fact - Ásgeir grew up in a town on the Northwestern coast of Iceland that had a population of 57 people at last census.


Thirdly, we have Sólstafir. Even with nearly 90 thousand likes on facebook, somehow this dark and dreamy sounding band has flown under my radar until now. Check out this moody song and video for "Fjara", which appears to be filmed on the desolate Northern beaches of Iceland where the sand is black, as well as through the mountains and even on a glacier. I can’t find a translation for the word Fjara so I’m thinking it’s someone’s name, but if you know otherwise, please let me know!


Lastly, we have what is definitely one of my new favorite bands, Kaleo. In this video for their song "Way Down We Go" they were actually lowered down into a volcano! Imagine the acoustics in that! The soulful vocals of lead singer Jökull Júlíusson leave his mouth while you see his breath in the cool air of the volcano. It almost feels like his soul is escaping with his words (which are in Enlglish for this one!).

If you like any, or all, of these bands, please be sure to click on their links above and give them a facebook like. Remember that we musicians are all a community that thrives off the support of our fans, and our community is worldwide! And if you decide to visit this amazing country that has the largest area of land untouched by man, please be courteous and leave as small a footprint as possible! Please do feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of these bands, or to suggest others that I have not mentioned! Enjoy!

-Desireé