She Shreds heads to the land of fire and ice to celebrate 20 years of Iceland’s longest-established festival: Iceland Airwaves.
Taking place November 7th – 10th this year, the festival will take over the city of Reykjavík, casting an all-hands-on-deck vibe as a wide variety of local establishments open their doors to this year’s extensive lineup. With a list of over 200 acts and headliners such as Natalie Prass, Superorganism, and Blood Orange, Iceland Airwaves guarantees they’ve got something great for every music goer.
Unsure of where to start? No worries, we’ve got your back. She Shreds has compiled a list of acts new to us that we are stoked to see! While we OF COURSE highly recommend seeing some USA favorites—Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, Crumb, and Hayley Kiyoko to name a few—we’re looking forward to checking out musicians Iceland Airwaves has thankfully brought to our attention.
Thu Nov 8 | Gaukurinn | 21:30 – 22:00
Karólina Einarsdóttir, Fríða Björg Pétursdóttir, and Hrafnhildur Einarsdóttir are the ambitious talent driving Icelandic’s riot punk band, GRÓA. Ambitious, you say? In addition to navigating their final days of high school, GRÓA released their first album this year and have the bragging rights of making it to the finals of Iceland’s popular music competition, Músíktilraunir. Catch GRÓA in all their early glory this Thursday!
Thu Nov 8 | Gaukurinn | 20:20 – 21:00
New to us but not to the UK music scene, R&B/Soul artist, Tawiah, is endlessly amazing. Performing since age four, Tawiah has a lifetime of experience touring, performing, and writing music across genres. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that this multifaceted artist released her most recent album, Recreate, on her own record label, Lima Limo. Fingers crossed that Tawiah personally busts out a guitar during her set Thursday evening.
Thu Nov 8 | Silfursalir (TVG-Zimzen Stage)| 23:20 – 00:00
If you haven’t already found yourself attempting questionable dance moves in front of a mirror while listening to Haiku Hands’, “Not About You,” there’s still time! Share those moves with friendly Icelanders as this Australian crew totally disregards the gloom of dwindling daylight hours with their electronic energy and new song, “Squat.”
Fri Nov 9 | Bryggjan Brugghús | 20:30 – 21:00
We’ve never been to Estonia, but if it’s anything like Mari Kalkun sounds, then we imagine it is a haunting landscape of natural wonders that carry the secrets and folklore of Estonian culture. While Kalkun is often accompanied by many instruments of her choosing, we have fallen in love with the unique sound of her Estonian stringed instrument known as the kannel. Oh, and did we mention that she has a voice that makes everyone in a room shut the hell up and listen? Add her to your list of must see!
Wed Nov 7 | Hresso | 23:20 – 23:50
Steinunn Sigþrúðardóttir is the starting force behind Iceland’s lo-fi electro asdfhg. Joined by Orri Úlfarsson in 2015 after the Steingervingur EP release, then teenager Steinunn had no idea that her secretive Bandcamp setup for asdfhg would become of such public interest. This year, the duo put out their Örvæntið Ekki! EP and will bring to Iceland Airwaves the ethereal vibe Iceland’s alternative, experimental scene is known and loved for.
Sat Nov 10 | Silfursalir (TVG-Zimsen Stage) | 20:20 – 20:50
Apparently, Iceland has super sweet pop music and Tara Mobee is to thank for it. After watching two of her official music videos online, we instantly wished we were one of her best friends and is one of our festival highlights. End the week on a high note at her show on Saturday.
Sat Nov 10 | Fríkirkjan | 20:00 – 20:40
Your new favorite will be Stella Donelly. Giving to us honest, poetic lyrics that speak to the experiences many have a hard time articulating, her folk-pop Thrush Metal EP is a must listen. Accompanied by thoughtfully crafted guitar riffs, Donelly often plays to the realities faced by the women in her generation. Get your dose of Australian wit and artistic defiance on the closing night of Iceland Airwaves.
Fri Nov 9 | Idnó | 22:00 – 22:40
Laid-back vocals, bob-your-head rhythms, and throwback guitar tones, Girl Ray arrives to us in 2018 reminiscent of something spanning decades and generations. Bringing their ultra-chill vibes from London to Reykjavík, this trio will have you nodding in agreement with your nearest show neighbor saying, “Hey, this is really dope!”
Madonna + Child
Wed Nov 7 | Bryggjan Brugghús (Cintamani Stage) | 20:00 – 20:30
To be honest, we’re at a loss for words when it comes to Iceland’s Madonna + Child and we think this mysterious duo would take that as a compliment—which it totally is. If you’re looking to experience the darker, eerier side of experimental Iceland, come see what Madonna + Child have in store for you. You might walk away a new member of their growing cult following…
Fri Nov 9 | Fríkirkjan | 22:20 – 23:00
Okay, okay. We said we weren’t giving any special emphasis to USA artists on our Iceland Airwaves list. But, hear us out on this one. Azniv Korkejian, known by the moniker, Bedouine, is a lifelong wanderer whose experience with displacement, international conflict, and finding community in Los Angeles are reflected in her poetic lyrics and folk-style guitar playing. Singing to the relevancy of so many in our world today, we can’t think of a better way to spend your Friday evening other than with Bedouine.
Keep an eye on our Instagram for photos of us having the best time and also of all the cool bands throughout the week. In the meantime, get to know some of the other artists who’ve graced the Iceland Airwaves stage throughout the year with this special playlist, curated by Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.