Iceland Airwaves 2018: Ones to Watch – Part 1

Iceland Airwaves, the world’s most northerly music showcase & industry event, flourishes all over Reykjavík today. After sifting through the impressive line-up, here’s part one of our recommendations (yes, there are that many).

Abbacook (EC) – Thursday 23:30 @ Hresso

Originating from Ecuador, this musical project from Pancho Feraud combines elements of hip-hop, wave, indie & pop music to create something so infectiously groovy and soulful, I was instantly smitten. The depth to the instrumentation, combining beautifully intricate guitars & synths with lo-fi percussion, make this such an instant & rewarding pleasure to listen to.


Agent Fresco – Friday 22:00 @ Gamla Bíó

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - Agent Fresco - Bemoan (Destrier - Live in Reykavík)

Iceland’s very own Agent Fresco fuse math-rock, art-metal & pop to create a cacophonous outpouring of emotion & dissonant beauty, so rich and nuanced that i’d advise you go and see it up close first. Their recent tour with Norway’s Leprous was one of the best live shows i’ve ever witnessed, I urge you to do the same, you won’t regret it.


Gyða Valtýsdóttir – Thursday 20:50 @ IÐNÓ (Landsbankinn Stagge)

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - Gyða Valtýsdóttir - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

Gyða Valtýsdóttir cut her teeth with the Icelandic electronic group Múm, before branching off to do her own musical projects. Her most recent album Evolution, is a spellbinding mix of glorious cello arrangements, etherial voices & visceral soundscapes that I guarantee will find it’s way into your heart. I can only imagine what it would sound like live, but judging from the example above, i’m certain it is nothing less than captivating.


Hugar – Thursday 21:30 @ The National Theatre of Iceland

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - Hugar - Saga

Hugar is formed of multi-instrumentalists Bergur Þorrisón & Pétur Jónsson. Having first worked with some of the greatest in Icelandic music (Björk, Sigur Rós, Ólafur Arnalds & the late Johann Johannson), they then turned their skills inward to create Hugar, and the ensuing results are mesmerising. The beautiful, swirling string & horn arrangements, accented by delicate acoustic guitar & piano will make this an unforgettable live show.


EinarIndra – Friday 22:30 @ Hresso

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - EinarIndra - Ripples

Yielding his own blend of electronica mixed with soft, melancholic vocals, EinarIndra is the recommendation for that intense personal listening experience we all strive for. Let it fill up the room and make every movement a movie, then go and see it under the dim neon coloured lights at Hresso.


aYia – Friday 21:10 @ Harpa Flói

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - aYia - Slow

aYia are a dream. Put everything down and listen to them immediately on the best quality sound system you own, your neighbours will write letters to thank you and your landlord will refund your rent. aYia are a dark electronic three-piece from Reykjavík, who are due to release their debut self-titled album on the 16th November. Do it.


AV AV AV – Saturday 01:00 @ Húrra

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - AV AV AV - Habitat

AV AV AV are somewhat of a Danish electronic supergroup, formed of producers ELOQ, UNKWON & DJ E.D.D.E.H. Their wonderfully progressive grooves & evolving synth melodies will certainly be a highlight to end your Saturday night on.


Jarami – Friday 23:50 @ Húrra

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - Jarami - Hear This

Sweden’s Jarami perfectly combine soul, house & psychedelic rock to create something that is just so irresistibly groovy, but also showcases such a masterful grasp on the melody, that it’s nearly impossible to not sing & dance along. Based in Stockholm, members Rami Dawod & Jacob Olofsson have also produced singles for Frank Ocean & Dua Lipa.


JFDR – Friday 16:30 @ Skúli Craft Bar

Iceland Airwaves 2018 - JFDR - White Sun

The latest project from Jófríður Ákadóttir, is an enchanting mix of soft poetic vocals and visceral waves of acoustic & electric instrumentation. There is such a beautiful simplicity to it, with the space for each part to ebb & flow almost being paramount. Named as an inspiration by Iceland’s very own Björk, I highly advise checking out her other musical projects Pascal Pinon, Samaris & GANGLY.


Now if those acts aren’t enough to get you through the next few days, stay tuned for part 2 of our Airwaves recommendations tomorrow!

From one iconic Icelandic event to the next, this year’s Icelandic Design Awards were a wonderful celebration >>>