Welcome To Our Covering International Fests: Iceland Blog

Welcome to Columbia College Chicago Communication Department’s Covering International Music Fests: Iceland award-winning class blog. Please enjoy the students’ on-air work, blogs, radio documentaries, interviews and more from Iceland Airwaves. Visit our Iceland Airwaves 20162015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 class tabs to see what students have produced each year.

Stay tuned right here for students’ Fall 2017 work, beginning in September!

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Tune in for Our Iceland Airwaves 2017 Preview Show on 10/28-29!

Tune in for our Iceland Airwaves 2017 preview show on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. CT and Sunday, Oct 29 at 5 p.m. CT on WCRX – FM 88.1 and via stream worldwide.

Join us: Brenna Watkins, Zayda Cavazos, Paige Evans, Nick PalaszKaitlin Logan, Mary Connor Cox, and me, Ariel Parrella-Aureli, for stories covering Icelandic culture and a myriad of artists performing at Airwaves and hear some great Icelandic music.

Listen to our promo below and check out our class’ website for all of our previews, reviews, and stories that we’ll be producing while we’re in Iceland from October 30th through November 6th!

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Iceland Airwaves Preview: Sycamore Tree (WATCH)

Delicate strings, a soft caressing voice, and tender harmonies create a fireplace feel. Inhale the entrancing and aromatic smoke. Collapse into the creases of your recliner or bundle up with your comforter. These are the feelings evoked by Sycamore Tree in their live performance of “My Heart Beats For You.”

Sycamore Tree is a newly formed Icelandic duo based in Reykjavík, but they have already made their own personal stakes in the entertainment industries. Agusta Eva Erlendsdottir, the lead singer of Sycamore Tree, is renown for her portrayal of television caricature Silvía Night, and Gunni Hilmarsson is an internationally known fashion designer.

Sycamore Tree will be performing at Galma Bíó Wednesday November 1st at 21:40.

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Iceland Airwaves Preview: Mammút (WATCH)

Iceland’s Mammút has tried love—and now it seems to be sticking for them and their fans. Like one of the songs off their new album “We Tried Love,” things may seem sad and down after an experience, but the “tears brought us here” and evidently that’s just where the band needs to be. They know how to put on a live show and energize listeners to feel the breadth of sound in their organic guitar-heavy rock style while letting the emotion flow from the lyrics as is displayed in the performance of their single “Kinder Version,” which they performed live at KEXP during last year’s Iceland Airwaves.

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Iceland Airwaves Preview: CYBER (WATCH)

Originally formed as a thrash-metal/disco duo, Cyber  has since transformed into a electronic/rap group combining edgy lyrics with heavy techno beats. Comprised of two female artists, Jóhanna Rakel Jónasdóttir and Salka Valsdóttir, the two joined forces in 2012 creating songs uniquely based on subjects ranging from gender and politics, to downright nonsense. Cyber made its Iceland Airwaves premiere in 2016, and is returning for another year of dance-heavy, female hip-hop.

The song above, Aspen Barbie, is a perfect example of the duo’s unique sound. It combines English and Icelandic lyrics to create a ridiculous symphony of dance-inducing music. The video does an amazing job of capturing Cyber’s unique style by compiling unedited clips of the two skiing and snowboarding, producing the “unpolished” affect that their music is based off of. The members of Cyber have a unique power to display their passion without the frills of big-budget production, and it’s a power they’re sure to display at Iceland Airwaves this November.

Cyber will be performing Wednesday, November 1 at 8:30pm at The Reykjavik Art Museum on the Icelandair Stage, as well as Friday, November 4 at 9:10pm at Græni Hatturinn. 

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Iceland Airwaves Preview: Rythmatik (WATCH)

No strangers to the festival, the four-piece indie rock band, Rythmatik is returning to Iceland Airwaves 2017 . With songs off both of their EPs, Epilepsy and Waves, resembling the combination of ‘80s British rock and modern day indie rock, listeners can expect to hear unique music with a mix of guitar riffs and techno sounds. They won the national “Battle of the bands” The Icelandic Music Experiments (Músikltilraunir) in 2015, performed at Iceland Airwaves 2016 and they are set to release their debut album this fall.

In their song “Sleepy Head,”  a story about adventure, taking risks and living an exciting life is told. The song is danceable and catchy.

Rythmatik perform on Saturday, November 4th at 8:30pm at the Hard Rock Café during Iceland Airwaves.

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Iceland Airwaves Preview: “Hugar” (LISTEN)


Hugar is a two-person group comprising Bergur Þórisson & Pétur Jónsson. The two grew up together in the town, Seltjarnarnes, just north of Reykjavík. Hugar was formed in 2012 when the two had the opportunity to use a friend’s recording studio. In 2014 they released their first, self-titled album. This year they teamed up with vocalist Arnór Dan and produced their first track featuring vocals, Waves. 

Hugar’s music effortlessly combines classical instruments, such as violin and trombone, with an ambient, electronic feel. The music takes the listener through a soundscape journey, instantly transporting listeners to the vast, open waters of Iceland. Because Hugar’s music is primarily ambient, it will be interesting to see what they do live.

Hugar is currently working on its second studio album, to be released sometime this year.

During Iceland Airwaves, the band will be performing on the IÐNÓ stage at 20:20 on Wednesday, November 1st.

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Iceland Airwaves Preview: Hildur (WATCH)


Iceland Airwaves Music Festival is approaching and Hildur, who is performing, has electro-pop angelic feels.  She is not only a singer, she also a songwriter and producer. Before becoming a solo artist Hildur was the singer, songwriter and cellist for a band called Rökkurró.

On February 2016 Hildur released her first pop hit and music video “I’ll Walk With You,” which went straight to the top charts of Iceland’s biggest radio stations. Since then her she’s had performances for live TV, she has appeared in various music festivals and concerts and has just recently released seven singles.

Check out her music video for “Full of You” (2017). Which was released this year along with other songs on her EP called “Heart to Heart”, this video has a retro outlook with a dash of intriguing choreography.

Hildur will be performing on Wednesday, November 1st at 10:30 p.m. at Gamla Bíó.

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