My Bubba//8:20 TJARNBIÓ
My Bubba is a band composed of a Swedish woman, and an Icelandic woman. Guðbjörg Tómasdóttir is the Bubba, and Larsdotter Lucas is the My. The girls released their album Goes Abroader in 2014, and since then has toured with Damien Rice. The folk singers mix so many sounds and through it the music finds a way to keep its fluidity. They have mixed clap dancing, table harp, Scandinavian folk, and American. It has got an array of tastes and together the women pull it off magically.
My Bubba was an amazing show, down to the very movements both women committed. They were bathed in white light while allowing the raw vocals to flood over the crowd. The pair are obviously best friends, in between songs they fixed each other’s sleeves, and laughed at small comments muttered behind the microphone. There was no extra fuss at the show, only raw vocals and guitar.
Beginning in 2008, two best friends embarked on a journey. They molded their love for acoustic guitar with vocals, added a couple more musicians and Ylja was born in Reykjavík, Iceland. They released their first album Ylja in November of 2012.
Ylja has a definite ’70ss vibe. Everyone on stage was dressed in something vintage, and even the swaying dancing done by vocalists, Bjartey Sveinsdóttir and GuðnýGígja Skjaldardóttir transported to an older time. Standing in front of an animated video of changing shapes and colors, but behind a sheet of smoke the band validated itself as psychedelic folk with soft undertones of The Eagle’s “Hotel California.” Though the two vocalists had moments where it seemed they were fighting for attention, at the end they put their differences aside and walked off stage early to give a nod to their other members, electric guitarist Örn Eldjárn, Bassist Ingibjörg Elsa Turchi, and percussionist Maggi Magg.
Sea Change// 10:20 TJARNARBÍÓ
Norwegian artist Ellen A. W. Sunde named herself Sea Change after Beck’s 2002 album, Sea Change. Though unlike Beck’s fast pace beats, she produces a slower electronic sound. On her Facebook page, she brands herself as “lo-fi electronic.” After Beck she found creative influence in Fever Ray, and it can be heard in the sound. Another large influence in her work is the ocean.
Even though Sunde is a solo artist during her live performances she gets a little help from Hilmar B. Larsen known from Det är jäg som er Döden and Jakob Jones from While You Slept. The trio was unstoppable. The show started with no introduction, immediately the trio dove into playing two songs, which was somewhat distracting. After the later introduction, Sunde and Larsen played songs from her album Breakage. Sunde also had similar dance moves to Lorde during her set. She twitched and flayed her arms while singing, and it felt very personal. The boys also put all of their passion into each movement. Whether it be on the drums or the keyboard, the ferociousness of how they hit their instruments was moving. This show was definitely worth seeing. Breakage is good but to get the full effect of how Sunde performed her songs allowed the music to be absorbed in a new way.
I have come to find that in Iceland it rains. It doesn’t quite matter the time, but there is always a soft misting, or a downpour. I spoke to a woman at the Minister of Welfare today who informed me “If you don’t like the weather, wait for five minutes.” So far, I have not seen any evidence of that.
I also interviewed Kitty Von-Sometime the artist behind The Weird Girls Project! Ever wonder about Iceland sexual abuse? I also spoke to women from Stigamot, The Ministry of Welfare, and The Human Rights Centre to try and understand Iceland’s domestic abuse, and trafficking. Watch for both those stories in this upcoming week!
Check out my next post tomorrow to hear about my exploration of the city, and my reviews for Axel Flóvent, Good Moon Deer, and more!