Bríet

For the past three years, BRíET `(pictured above) has been developing her musical talents, and this Airwaves she finally steps onto the big stage. Dramatic and powerful, Bríet’s take on electro-pop takes plenty of cues from RnB. Earn eternal bragging rights by catching her before she’s a worldwide sensation.

Where in Iceland are you from?

First three years in Hafnarfjörður, then my whole childhood in Grafarvogur and now I’m in Laugardalur. I don’t think you know these places so I’ll make it easier for you and say I am from Reykjavik.

When did you start making music?

I remember being around 14 years old, sitting down and being like: “How the fuck do I write a song?!” It seemed so hard and confusing. But I just started writing sentences about me and my boyfriend that I had at that time, and it’s a really bad song, like really really bad. But that is how I started and I kept on making bad songs until I met [manager] Pálmi. Thank God for that man.

Describe your sound

Honest and emotional

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

You should, it’s going to be a freaking show and I know I would not want to miss it. There are going to be few songs that I haven’t released out yet so yes, you should definitely come.

Who else should we check out?

You should definitely go see Axel Flóvent, he’s a freaking cool and weird guy that sings from his heart. And 100% go see Eyvör, she inspires me so much, coolest chick I’ve seen.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

Well the best place on earth is Vesturbæjar swimming pool. You should go, just a warning though that Icelanders shower naked before they go in and some people don’t know how to behave. After the pool you would walk to the coffeehouse nearby and grab a cinnamon bun from Bread & co. and then come see me play and you will be cured.

Berghaim

Berghaim

Technically speaking, Bergur Thomas Anderson isn’t an Airwaves virgin at all as he’s appeared repeatedly with his bands Grísalappalísa, Oyama, and Sudden Weather Change. This is however the first time he performs his solo material. Introspective and glitchy, Berghaim’s lo-fi music takes listeners on an aural journey that’s all about visibility and inner voices.

Where in Iceland are you from?

Reykjavík highlands, Breiðholt!

When did you start making music?

I've been doing it since I was a teenager, but I started making music for Berghaim in late 2017.

Describe your sound

Lo-fi pop meets amateur theater performance.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

It's the first time Berghaim performs with a very good live band. We will take you to places you've never even heard of!

Who else should we check out?

I'm really excited to see SiGRÚN and Ingibjörg Turchi.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

Easy question: Vesturbæjarlaug.

Rock Paper Sisters

Performing for the first time is a daunting task for every act, but few bands have had to face the same pressure as Rock Paper Sisters did when they opened for Billy Idol earlier this year. These fun-loving rockers may be out of their 20s, but they still perform energetically and confidently.

Where in Iceland are you from?

The north, the east, and the south!

When did you start making music?

We as a band wrote our first song around a year ago but we’ve all been playing and making riffs and beats since we could bang a ladle on pots and pans.

Describe your sound.

Pentatonic mixed with sweat, fuzz, juice and slime.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

Well, we will definitely rock your socks of but mainly to see Jónbi take his shirt off.

Who else should we check out?

Benny Crespo’s Gang, Vicky, Agent Fresco, Valdimar and Une Misére.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

Beer!

Sycamore Tree

While Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir attained international fame for her satirical performance as Silvía Nótt at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, her latest project (that she shares with guitarist Gunnar Hilmarsson) is almost its polar opposite. Instead of bombastic and deflective, Sycamore Tree is calm, soothing, romantic, and introspective.

Where in Iceland are you from?

Ágústa Eva: We are from the Reykjavík Area. Gunni is based in Reykjavík, born and raised there as well while I’m a small town girl. A few years ago I moved back to her beloved thermal and flower town of Hveragerði located only a 30 minute drive from Reykjavík after having tasted the greener grass in various places for the last 20 years. I am totally in love with my old town.

When did you start making music?

We met up for our collaboration about a year and a half ago. One year ago our first album Shelter was released, so we definitely do not waste time.

Describe your sound.

It depends who you ask I guess. It is not really easily categorised. I would describe it as emotional and heartful movie score music with loads of strinģs and orchestral feel whilst being quite melodic and to the point, yet mystique. Gunni describes it as lush, atmospheric and sexy.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

I would recommend you come to see us on Saturday if you need a mental massage. Sit, down, close your eyes and we will drive you to the most important emotional stops that life takes each of us to. Or just to hear a cool new take on music.

Who else should we check out?

There are good deal of local artists playing that you should checkout. Warmland, Axel Flóvent, Junius Meyvant, and Mammút and Agent Fresco on a more rock end of things.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

We would recommend anything that is both extremely hot, wet and cold at the same time. Things that might include a swimming pool ( we have many great ones in the city), sauna, swimming in the sea mud-clay baths or a spa. Good luck and have the best stay!

Ragga Holm

The newest member of the powerful Reykjavíkurdætur hip-hop collective, Ragga Holm was first visible in banger “Reppa heiminn”. Since then she’s performed with the daughters all over, as well as starting her own solo project in which she showcases her impeccable sense of timing and style, and silky smooth beats.

Where in Iceland are you from?

I’m from all around the country; for now I live in Hafnarfjörður but my blood runs in 101 Reykjavík.

When did you start making music?

Maybe ten years ago with a very good friend of mine, we even played an off venue gig in like 2012, however I started to make my own sound one year ago.

Describe your sound.

It's like 50/50 hip-hop and RnB kind of thing, also a little bit house music. I guess I bring a lot of sounds to the formula.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

I guess because I'm a little bit different than the things that are happening at the moment, I’m fresh and full of energy, and ready to show you all that I’ve got!

Who else should we check out?

All my good friends that are performing! Of course my band Reykjavíkurdætur, then Fever Dream, Sura, Special K, Svala and Cyber! All Icelandic female geniuses!

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

Prikið is the place to be!

Matthildur

Matthildur’s voice sounds like it was plucked from the end of the 20th century, seemingly the perfect warm-up act to TLC. Her music is emotive and completely unafraid of speaking about matters of the heart.

Where in Iceland are you from?

I’m from 107, the west side of Reykjavík.

When did you start making music?

First started making music when I was about nine years old with my brother’s tape recorder, carried that thing around for a few years. But my parents and my music teachers really encouraged me early on to start experimenting with making music. I then really got into writing songs, making beats and producing when I was about sixteen and haven’t stoppedsince.

Describe your sound

It’s very much inspired by late ‘90s RnB music but with a lot of elements from current RnB/Soul music. Influenced by the music I grew up listening to and has formed the way I write and produce my songs.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

This will be my first time performing my own material on stage. Lots of unreleased material, really excited to share that with the world! Down to earth, intimate show with me and my friends.

Who else should we check out?

You should definitely check out Hugar, Magnús Jóhann and Vök at Airwaves.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

Flatey! Best pizzas in town and just across the street from the venue where I’m performing on the 10th of November at 10pm at Bryggjan Brugghús!

Dadykewl

Daði Freyr’s take on trap as Dadykewl is cool and hypnotic, with elements of downtempo and RnB mixed in to keep things interesting. His lyrics, for those who can understand them, are thoughtful and earnest; and even occasionally very vulnerable. He promises an otherworldly live show.

Where in Iceland are you from?

I am from Mosfellsbær a suburb of Reykjavík, where people race to have the newest Range Rover and the neatest lawn, exciting stuff.

When did you start making music?

I started a long time ago but never had the courage to release it until 3 years ago, because i was afraid what people think of me. Turns out that people don't really care.

Describe your sound

It's all about chasing the perfect melody. The one that you will hum for the rest of your life.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

For my debut concert at Airwaves I will be doing something that I've never done before. This set will be concentrated on a feeling, a mood of some sort. Where you can close your eyes and forget everything for a moment, where you pull out the dance moves you do in front of the bathroom mirror, a place where you find peace for a short moment, like in the eye of a hurricane.

Who else should we check out?

Depends on what you're looking for, if you're looking for hip=hop I would definitely suggest my boi GKR and Alvia; you might just see me perform with them. Otherwise you will find me at Sykur, Lord Pusswhip, Auður and Rejjie Snow and probably at some hip-hop concerts in between.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

Without a doubt Prikið, they have a special menu for it. See ya there!

Eydís Evensen

Eydís Evensen

The classically trained pianist Eydís Evensen has been composing music since she was 7, and will be premiering her original compositions at this year’s Airwaves. Intricate and solemn, for many this rising post-classical star will be a welcome reprieve for at least a moment from an otherwise bombastic festival.

Where in Iceland are you from?

I come from a small town in the North of Iceland called Blönduós.

When did you start making music?

I wrote my first piece of music at the age of 7 and have been writing ever since.

Describe your sound

I’ve been strongly influenced by classical pieces since I practised classical piano for 14 years. I would say that my music flows in a slightly dramatic yet repetitively peaceful way within the post-classical field.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

Airwaves will be my first ever time to perform my music that I have written for piano and strings, so if you are looking for a calm way to start your last evening of the festival, stop by at Iðnó at 8pm.

Who else should we check out?

I’ve been looking forward to see Sóley, Valdimar, JFDR, Bára Gísla and Eivør perform at the festival.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

I would always recommend to anyone to grab a picnic set, go for a drive and dip into the natural pools outside of the city, for example in Reykjadalur. It’s the perfect way to reset your mind before another exciting festival evening.

Ateria

This self-described folk-goth three piece band was formed in the fall of 2017 and won this year’s Músiktilraunir, Iceland’s annual battle of the bands competition. The band is composed of sisters Ása and Eir and their cousin Fönn. All three have studied classical music, which is readily obvious in their compositions and thoughtful sound.

Where in Iceland are you from?

We’re all from Reykjavík, but we spend a lot of time in the north of Iceland.

When did you start making music?

We started making music together a little over a year ago, although we had been making music separately before.

Describe your sound

Our sound is a kind of a gothic folk rock mixture. We have a classical background, but we mix different genres and styles into our songs.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

Because our music is innovative and good to listen to (and so we don’t have to play for an empty space, please come).

Who else should we check out?

You should really check out Mammút, Between Mountains, Gróa, Eivør, Ingibjörg Turchi, Jelena Ćirić and Special-K. If you go see them, we guarantee that you will not regret it, they’re great musicians.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

To the swimming pool, or if that doesn’t do it, you can always go take a swim in the sea.

Bagdad Brothers

The youthful Bagdad Brothers play nostalgic surf pop reminiscent of a time well before they were born. That’s not to say they’re pulling a Kaleo and just thoughtlessly repeating a familiar sound, as the brothers produce their own sombre ideas inside this warm soundscape. They’re signed onto Post-dreifing, an independent art distribution collective.

Where in Iceland are you from?

We're originally from Kópavogur, but downtown Reykjavík has been our home for the last few years.

When did you start making music?

We've both performed music most of our lives, but we've been doing it together since maybe 2012. There's been at least four projects that we've both been part of, but this Bagdad Brothers thing has had the most luck since the start.

Describe your sound

Our friend in June said we sounded like if the Smiths were from iceland and actually liked the beach - we feel like that kinda sums it up.

Why should we come see you at Airwaves?

Uhmmm, we've been practicing a lot and we've heard people often have a good time at our shows. Also we hear there's going to be some business people there that might want to book us for stuff abroad so we guess it would be nice if it looked like we have a big fanbase.

Who else should we check out?

You should go to r6013 in igólfsstræti - it's the coolest music venue in reykjavík. Also all the other post-dreifing associated acts: asdfhg, GRÓA, Korter í flog, Skoffín, Stirnir, sideproject, BSÍ, Hot Sauce Committee, K.óla, etc. They're all amazing.

Where should we go during the day to nurse our Airwaves hangover?

Wherever ya feel like. There's a bunch of places that have both water and coffee - the two best hangover cures.

Iceland Airwaves kicks off on Wednesday and runs through to Saturday, with off-venue shows all week. Find out more at icelandairwaves.is.