Iceland Airwaves 2016

For as long as I have known I have Icelandic blood I have wanted to visit the Island. I have always been a music junkie with a pretty wide range of taste. The true addiction began when I bought my 3 cd disk changer stereo back in the day. Then I bought my first CD (which if you are wondering was Annie Lennox – the one with Walking on Broken Glass on it) and the collection and obsession started.  Then when I moved to Antigonish and started hearing amazing local bands every weekend (remember the Trews, anybody, when they played for 5 bucks, or Wintersleep) Then onto a hard core passion for the talent that came out of the East Coast. When I started really festivaling – Somewhere on my festival dream list the Airwaves Festival landed a prime slot. After years of begging people to make the trip with me – this year I booked the damn trip and decided to do it alone.  Finally after years and years of pining over wanting to attend – this was the year, the year I made it to Iceland and ran around Reykjavik with blackberry cider in my Hershel backpack like the rest of the bloody hipsters listening to some of the finest, most unique, often Nordic and airy music I have heard in a long ass time.

If you have been to Airwaves you understand that there are so many bands and so many venues it is really hard to keep track of all the amazingness you are hearing. Part of the journey is running all over downtown Reykjavik and exploring all the weird and wonderful bars. The festival brings in such a variety of music – 2 people attending could see completely different bands and it would be like they are at a different festivals.

Anyway – a few of you have ask for some interesting bands/new music from the festival so in no particular order here are a couple that stood out for me:

Gringlombian – These guys were the right mix of folk and indie for me. Pretty young probably are going to be something amazing AND as you might know – I am a sucker for the banjo. So when they brought that out – I was sold.

Of Monsters & Men – these guys don’t really need any introduction. Although surprisingly not as many people knew who they were. I have been a fan since some random hipster introduced me to these guys way back in my China days. They were on my travel through Croatia play list and they totally didn’t disappoint.  The venue was so tiny – I swear there was maybe 100 of us. A dream.

Milkywhale – I loved loved loved these guys. The right mix of electronic and Indie. Super fun show. Lots of dancing by the people that had space – we were literally by the door of the hostel venue they were playing in. Love. Love. Love.

Glowie –  This was a total random show that happened because I wanted us to be in the Nasa venue right early so we could see another show. But she didn’t disappoint. Not my usual go to but still super good. On my playlist now.

Bjork – This was a wonderfully weird show. She literally sang with the philharmonic orchestra behind her. Her take on music has evolved to a weird eclectic place of the years but was worth every extra penny to get to hear Bjork in Iceland. She also ended the show with on of my favorites  – Pluto  <3!

I also really love the show by Reykjavíkurdætur and my friend Mel raved over the úlfur úlfur show.  The one show I wanted to see and missed was FM Belfast – I guess they will be on the list for next year.

So there you have it friends – some new to me, some not so new, maybe some new to you. A lot of Icelandic artists and a whole lot of lovely. This is not a exhaustive list by any means – just some of the shows that I really liked. If you want to find more – download the Airwaves app on your phone – lets you get into all the great show that were at the festival.

Let me know if you take a listen – what you like, what you didn’t … Did you go to the Airwaves – what was your favorite show?


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