Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/2): Lara Runars, Amabadama, Reykjavikurdætur

Lára Rúnars

Lára Rúnars gracefully hit the stage when she and her band played Wednesday night at

img_79378:00 at NASA. Her stage presence radiated the venue as three horn players filled the room. Rúnars started off the show with Rosir, a beautiful song from her new album released last year þel. Her dreamy yet moving sound is dreamlike. The bass guitarist jammed in the back, rocking out to every note. She then played one of her best songs of the night, “Þel,” which is about the connection humans share with each other. Her music is thought-provoking.

Lára Rúnars’ unique indie pop-melodic, dreamy sound broke into the Icelandic music industry in 2003, when she released her first album called Standing Still. Her collaborations throughout the years with other exceptional Icelandic artists like Iknorni, gained her popularity with the Icelandic audience. She has released her fifth album þel in 2015, meaning “toward” a reflective, ominous yet upbeat set of songs. Her influences stem from strong female artists such as PJ Harvey, Nina Person, Björk and Bat for Lashes.


“You can drink whatever you want, you can wear whatever you want, and you can say whatever you want and you are still not asking to be raped.” Reykjavíkuimg_7970rdætur rapped powerful words in Harpa Silfurberg. Sixteen women filled the stage – their feminist music stole the attention of everyone in the venue, not only was the crowd bobbing to the fantastic beats, they had them jumping as high as they can. Their power oozed from the stage, revving the audience. At one point, they sprayed water all over the front row. Even though not everyone in the audience spoke Icelandic, everyone knew exactly what they were portraying: feminism. Their message was made clear in their music and that is what defines a successful band.

Reykjavíkurdætur released their first album Reykjavíkurdætur in 2013, bringing a whole new sound to the music scene. Their daring and sexual lyrics address sexual violence, feminism and women’s rights, which was clear during their set. They are well known globally even in their three years of performing because of their elaborate stage performances and uniqueness as a group. This was a performance to remember. The members are Anna Tara Andrésdóttir, Ásthildur Sigurðardóttir, Bergþóra Einarsdóttir, Jóhanna Rakel Jónasdóttir, Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir, Kolfinna Nikulásdóttir, Salka Valsdóttir, Sigurlaug Sara Gunnarsdóttir, Solveig Pálsdóttir, Steiney Skúladóttir, Steinunn Jónsdóttir, Sunna Ben, Valdís Steinarsdóttir, Þórdís Björk Þorfinnsdóttir, Þuríður Blær Jóhannsdóttir, and Þuríður Kristín Kristleifsdóttir. Salka Valsdóttir is in Amabadama, a great Reggae band of the night that played earlier at Harpa Norduljis.


Amabadama had a fun, upbeat and laid back vibe that made the audience forgetimg_7964 about the rainy cold weather outside. They brought good vibes to dark and cold times. Their three piece band consisted of two women and a man all singing and playing the trumpet, and a flute piano-like instrument. Their sounds lit up Harpa Norduljis. They made the audience bob up and down to the chill and relaxing beats of Icelandic Reggae. What a unique sound.


This entry was posted in Iceland Airwaves, Iceland Airwaves 2016, Live Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/2): Lara Runars, Amabadama, Reykjavikurdætur

  1. Jill Wright says:

    Great reporting Ellie. Your articles have exposed to to several artists that I had previously not known. It sounds like their performances were powerful and meaningful. Thanks for the enlightening articles. Look forward to reading more! Jill Wright

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