Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/2): Amber, Glowie, Milkywhale

Today was the first day of Iceland Airwaves, but the fun didn’t start until nighttime, so I spent the afternoon at Lemon, a cafe on Laugeveger in Reykjavík. I had a ginger cappuccino and a Chickencado sandwich which were both equally amazing. Then, right before it was time for the first shows, our group went to the IMX Media Party, and we were on our way.

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Amber is an Icelandic duo who made their first appearance in the Icelandic Battle of the Bands in 2016, where they made it to the finals. Both members, Erna Mist and Magnus Thorlacius, play guitar and sing in the duo. Their first single, “Amberstones,” features only Mist on vocals, with her melodic voice matching perfectly alongside a single acoustic guitar.

The duo uses a loop pedal to give the illusion of a full band. The intimacy of Harpa Kaldalón meshed so well with their music, as the whole crowd was completely captured by the duo. They opened with “Messed Up Love,” and immediately followed with “Amberstones,” which is their newest single. Mist’s alto voice combined with Thorlacius’ soprano voice in perfect sync, with their dual acoustic guitars providing the perfect background. After their final song, the crowd clapped for what felt like minutes as the duo bashfully bowed. The audience ranged from all age groups, and it was clear that everyone was in complete awe from this youthful duo’s maturity.

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Glowie won a contest in secondary school where she sang “To Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. After winning the contest, she was contacted by StopWaitGo, who asked her to come in and sing them a song. Now, two years later at only 19 years old, she has just over 3,000 likes on Facebook, and four songs on Spotify, and some of her videos have nearly 150,000 views on YouTube. Glowie also models for Eskimo Models, and typically does runway work for them. She includes Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran, and Whitney Houston as some of her American influences. She performed at Harpa Norðurljós at 23:20, and opened with her single, “Party.” The crowd was loud with excitement when she first stepped out, but by the time she finished her third song, her single “No More,” the crowd had begun to thin out. The energy level of the crowd began to lessen, and her energy did, too. She stopped engaging with the crowd, and it seemed like she wanted nothing more than to be done with the show, which was even more obvious when she made it clear that she was singing with her track.

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Milkywhale is a duo made up of singer and dancer Melkorka Sigríður Magnúsdóttir and FM Belfast‘s Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson. They started working together in 2015 and quickly gained a following due to their incredible performances. They mix Hlöðversson’s electro-pop sound with Magnúsdóttir’s lively performance tactics. Milkywhale performed at Harpa Norðurljós at 00:20. The crowd was alive at this show. The whole room was jumping around in absolute awe with Magnúsdóttir as she gracefully lead everyone in a massive dance party; there were points where even the floor was shaking.

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