Iceland Airwaves 2016 Live Review (11/4): Himbrimi, Dream Wife, Vok

Himbrimi @ Gamla Bíó 8:00 

Himbrimi is a dark pop princess. Her music, lyrics, and look tie together a captivating presence and casts a spell.

Himbrimi means loon in Icelandic, and there were hints of the bird all over the band’s performance. The background was a projection screen with slow flowing water running over a course of rocks. The lead singer’s outfit was a long, white sheer dress with dazzlingly embellishments. She would often lift her arms up, creating the illusion of wings. The rest of the band wore black, completing the loon’s look of black and white.


Himbrimi was a head turner. Her passionate dance moves echo the deepness of her music. She looks like she is losing control, but really she was letting loose from demons. Her song “Tearing” exemplifies this. She sang, “You’re tearing me into pieces, my mind says no but my heart says yes.” This, like most of her songs, was accompanied by haunting piano, synths, and striking guitar parts.

Himbrimi would not be the same without the back up singers. Their harmonies sounded angelic, especially when songs would end in acappella.

Her presence captured the audience which kept getting bigger and bigger, and had many people twirling like Stevie Nicks throughout.

Dream Wife @ Harpa Silfurberg 

Dream Wife is the ultimate girl power pop band. Their music and lyrics are about empowerment and not caring what anybody thinks of them. They sang the lyrics, “I’m not a body, I’m somebody,” then segued into a song about “bad bad bitches” that had the whole crowd screaming along with lead singer Rakel Mjöll.

Dream Wife first formed as a fake girl band for a fine art exhibition. People liked them so much that they decided to continue down the music path–and it was evident tonight that their popularity is only growing. The band’s rapport with audience made the show that more fun. Mjöll would seductively smirk at the audience, as if hiding a secret and building intrigue.

Between songs, Mjöll said, “Music is great. This song is called ‘Take it back’ and it’s music.” A rolling laughter immediately emerged from the crowd. She also reminisced on a time there were young kids at one of their shows and they taught them rock ‘n’ roll and the power of music.

Dream Wife had a powerful, playful and in-your-face performance that perfectly got their message across and kept the crowd’s interest.


Vök @ Reykjavík Art Museum 9:50

Vök transcends electronic and pop music, creating an ethereal sound reminiscent of the beauty of Iceland.

Before the four band members took the stage, a plume of smoke rose up similar to a geyser. They walked through and began a jam sessions with wild guitars and synths, traveling around the stage. This then made it’s way into the song “Circles,” off of their latest EP.

After “Circles” ended, lead singer Margret Steinarsdottir addressed the audience, saying she was “so happy to be here you can’t imagine.” The bandmate’s smiles kept growing larger and larger as the show went on and on. It was clear they were happy to be there and thankful for all the loud cheers the crowd would give at the end of each song.


Vök played two new, unreleased songs off of their new album which saxophone player Andri Enoksson said was finished just last week. The songs had pulsating beats like water hitting rocks. It was impossible not to groove along to their dark, electric beats.

Enoksson was constantly bouncing around, moving to the music. His energy level was off the walls and entertaining to watch. The whole band performed together seamlessly, bouncing off of each other’s energy and never slowing down until the very last song concluded.

Steinarsdottir often pounded her heart along with the beat, drawing the music closer to her.

Vök’s stage presence was further advanced by the lighting. Each song had its own special lights, ranging from a wash of red for their new single “Show Me,” to a fitting wash of blue with flashing white lights for their song “Waterfall.”

Vök ended their show saying how happy they were to be there, then took a bow while the crowd cheered and hollered. Their icy electronica music hit the core and never leaves.

About Erin Brown

Columbia College Chicago multimedia photojournalism major. Photo editor at the Columbia Chronicle. Concert photographer for Music Existence and former contributing writer for Atwood Magazine.
This entry was posted in Daily Blog, Iceland Airwaves, Iceland Airwaves 2016, Live Review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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