Iceland Airwaves 2014

cc-icelandFrom November 5 – 11, 2014, 10 Columbia College Radio, Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Arts Management and Creative Writing students will venture to Reykjavík, Iceland, to cover Iceland Airwaves Music Festival via the Covering International Festivals: Iceland course. Here is a collection of their previews, live reviews, artist interviews, podcasts, daily blogs, on-air segments and more from the class and the trip.


Listen to The Covering International Festivals: Iceland Class radio documentary, which features Icelandic music and cultural stories culled by students during Iceland Airwaves 2014:

For more stories, check out the students’ daily blogs/live reviews, audio interviewspreviews and all of our coverage from before, during and after the fest.

For information on the Covering International Festivals: Iceland 2015 class, contact Althea Legaspi at


The Covering International Festivals: Iceland Class radio documentary will air on WCRX-FM 88.1 on Saturday, February 21 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, February 22 at 7 p.m. Tune in, stream it or come back to our blog after it broadcasts to hear it in full. In the meantime, check out our Icelandic journey via our daily blogs, audio interviewspreviews and all of our coverage from the fest and class.


Our Iceland Trip Photo Album, by Jessica Braun Gervais

The Covering International Festivals: Iceland class is approaching the final stretch before releasing our radio documentary. Until then, check out some of our favorite moments from the trip.


Check Our Our Iceland Video “Trailer,” by Delaney Morris

We’re back from Iceland Airwaves and are in the midst of producing our segments for our upcoming radio documentary. Take a look at our featured trailer on our epic adventure to Iceland and stay tuned for our Iceland doc, which will air on WCRX-FM 88.1 in February.


Check Out Our Blooper Reel, by Austin Montgomery

Producing and editing our audio documentary about Iceland made for a few hard pronunciations and disjointed script attempts but ended in high spirits. Airwaves 2014 was a whirlwind of deadlines, late nights and new experiences. But in the spirit of a friendly, good-natured country like the tiny Nordic Island, enjoy our outtakes!


We’ve made it to Iceland Airwaves! Check out our Twitter feed, our #cccairwaves14 hashtag on Instagram, and our daily blog for reviews, interview teasers and follow along on our journey!


Did you miss our Iceland Airwaves preview show on Monday, 10/27, or the rebroadcast on Saturday, 11/1? Fret not, you can hear the full show below and check out in-studio photos.

by Erika Kooda

The Covering International Festivals: Iceland class is gearing up for the flight to Reykjavík, Iceland! We took over the WCRX 88.1 FM airwaves on Monday, October 27th for a few hours playing music from the bands we will be covering, the stories we have produced and some previews to the pieces that we’ll be working on while we’re over there. No worries if you missed it; catch up on everything you need to know right here.


We depart for Iceland Airwaves on Tuesday, November 4! Check out students’ preview stories, where they interviewed Icelandic bands playing the fest, explore Icelandic culture and more!


Tune In For An Iceland Airwaves Preview on WCRXFM, Monday, 10/27 at 7 p.m., by Dan Hibbitts

With our trip to Iceland Airwaves right around the corner, we’ll be broadcasting all of our pre-stories Live on October 27! Listen as we discuss everything from the Icelandic language to the imminent eruption of Bárðarbunga. Plus, we’ll be covering some of the hottest bands playing at this year’s Airwaves including Mammút, Leaves, Just Another Snake Cult, Cell7 and much, much more! Don’t forget to tune into WCRX 88.1 FM or this Monday, October 27 beginning at 7 p.m. CT, and follow our daily blog for live reviews, stories, interviews and more while we’re in Iceland  Nov. 5-11.

You can also catch the rebroadcast of the preview show on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. CT.


We’re heading to Iceland Airwaves! Here are artist preview teasers by the students heading to this year’s fest. Stay tuned for their interviews with these bands and follow their journey, which begins November 5, on the Iceland Airwaves 2014 blog.

Just Another Snake Cult, by Megan Caruso

Just Another Snake Cult has gone from a one-man band, to an instrumental group of eight, and back down to just two people all within four years, three albums and a couple EPs. One thing, however, remains the same: singer-songwriter Pórir Bogason, better known to his audience as Thor. Joined most recently by his cousin Helga Jónsdóttir, Just Another Snake Cult creates and records lo-fi psych-pop out of Thor’s apartment bedroom. Thor’s voice swoons and echoes over samples of electronic beats and recorded live instrumental samples that make each song uniquely upbeat or eerily haunting. Their latest release, Cupid Makes a Fool of Me, won the Kraumer award in Iceland, denoting it as one of the country’s best albums of 2013.

Just Another Snake Cult will perform at Iceland Airwaves 2014 on Saturday, November 5 on the Harpa Kaldalón stage  at 8 p.m.


FURA, by Delaney Morris

FURA is a collaboration between singer and composer Björt Sigfinnsdóttir and the producers Hallur Jónsson & Janus Rasmussen, know as Bloodgroup. This collaboration began in 2012 and they have since released two singles, “Demons” (2013) and Poems of the Past” (2014), with a full album on its way. This group has an electronic feel at the base, but within the lyrics you can hear a deep and intimate sound, partly because Sigfinnsdóttir was classically trained in jazz and uses that knowledge to enhance her tone. In an upcoming interview with WCRX (stay tuned), she also said her lyrics are inspired from her many passions that have helped to shape who she is as a person and as an artist.

Sigfinnsdóttir also shared information about several other projects she is involved in, including the LungA Festival and LungA School.

Check out their single, “Poems of the Past” (2014).

FURA will be performing Thursday, November 6 at 8:50 p.m. at  IÐNÓ.


Kaleo, by Erika Kooda

Trying to decide who you want to see at Iceland Airwaves 2014? Get your indie-pop/rock fix with Kaleo – an Icelandic band that formed just a year-and-a-half ago, and played Iceland Airwaves in 2012 at an off-venue location. But this year, they are on the official lineup,

Kaleo was nominated in every possible category at the Icelandic Listener Awards, and took home Best Singer, Newcomer of the Year, and Best Album for their self-titled release, Kaleo. Since then, they’ve traveled internationally.  Kaleo is available to stream on Spotify. Imagine that you’re listening on vinyl, since the album was designed to have an “A-side” and a “B-side.” The “A-side” is more rock ‘n’ roll and the “B-side” is mellow and chill. on YouTube. Let your ears flirt with the songs that have topped the Icelandic charts, such as “Vor Í Vaglaskógi“, “Automobile“, and the newest single off their upcoming album “All the Pretty Girls“.

Check out their video for “Rock n’ Roller,” which is a story that’ll take you back to childhood:


Atónal Blús, by Melaina de la Cruz

Inspired by a mix of unusual ethnic rhythms, folk traditions, and electrified sounds, Atónal Blús has recently popped up on the Reykjavík musical radar, debuting their album Höfuðsynd (‘Cardinal Sin’ in English) earlier this year. Frontman and songwriter, Gestur Guðnason collected the members between 2010 and 2013, combining their respective styles to produce a unique type of music that blends genres and creates an eerie dimension with the use of a theremin. Listeners can also hear a language-fusion of Icelandic and English lyrics, which was done as a rule-bending experimentation to create a foreign sound for the ear.

Check out the video for their album’s title track, Höfuðsynd:

Atónal Blús will be performing at Iceland Airwaves on Thursday, November 6th, at 8:00 p.m., at IÐNÓ.


Lucy In Blue, by Tom Moran

Despite having only been together for less than a year, Icelandic psych-rock group Lucy in Blue has solidified a spot on Iceland Airwaves’ 2014 schedule. The band is young in more than just that sense, though. Taking influence from psych-rock and jam bands 20-30 years older than them, all four members are still teenagers: Guitarist Steinþór Bjarni Gíslason is 18, keyboardist Arnaldur Ingi Jónsson and bassist Matthías Hlífar Pálsson are 17, and drummer Kolbeinn Þórsson is 16.

Lucy in Blue hasn’t even released an album yet, but the band won 2nd place overall, Best Guitarist, and Best Keyboardist at Icelandic battle-of-the-bands contest Músíktilraunir last spring. Their raw showcase at Músíktilraunir is what got them booked at Iceland Airwaves, without having released any music yet.

Lucy in Blue performs on Wednesday, Nov. 5th at Frederiksen at 8 pm.


Leaves, by Jessica Braun Gervais

Hailing from Reykjavík, Leaves is an indie rock band known for their heavy piano ballads , often being compared to acts such as Coldplay and Muse.  After only their first performance at Iceland Airwaves in 2001, Leaves received critical acclaim resulting in offers from major labels such as Virgin Records and Island Records .  The band opted for signing with B-Unique, an independent label based in London.  The band has released a total of four albums, their latest being  See You In The Afterglow , which was made available worldwide May 2014.  Their latest radio single in Iceland, “Perfect Weather”, follows suit with their signature sound, but with a bit more energy.

Leaves will be playing at Harpa Nordurljos on Wednesday, November 5 at 10:30 p.m.


CELL7, by Joe George

2013 was the year of CELL7. This Filipino-Icelandic rapper released her first solo album titled CELLF on November 4th 2013. CELL7 joined forces with two of Iceland’s best producers, Earmax and Introbeats, in working on the album. This album has won numerous awards including a Kraumer Music Award, 8th best album of 2013 by the Fréttabladid newspaper, and the best record of 2013 by the Sunna Ben, Barmageddon radio show. CELL7 is going to give any hip-hop or rap lover a different taste on what the hip hop genre really means. To add on to the many skills of CELL7 she also received an education in sound engineering in New York. As well she interned at the prestigious Chung King Studios in Manhattan, which is known for recording artists such as Timbaland, Talib Kweli and Beastie Boys. After an award winning debut solo album, one can only imagine how good future projects will be.

CELL7 can be found on FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Instagram.

Watch CELL7’s hit song “Afro Puff.”

CELL7 will take the stage at Húrra on Saturday November 8th at 1:10 a.m.


Mammút, by Dan Hibbitts

It’s hard not to see the Icelandic landscape when listening to Mammút, a band forged with humble roots in Reykjavík. The piercing lyrics of lead singer Kata Mogensen combined with the rhythmic bass lines and, at times, reserved drums (played by Ása Dyradóttir and Andri Jakobsson, respectively) provide the perfect soundtrack to the beautiful place they call home. Much like the volcanic land from which they hail, you can sense a dark side, bubbling away just beneath the surface, preparing to explode at anytime.

Mammút formed in 2004, after playing an impromptu show together. The band members were just 13 at the time. Since then they’ve gone on to win several categories at the Icelandic Music Awards (including “Best Band in 2008, as well as “Album of the Year” and “Album Cover of the Year” in 2013) and have become a mainstay in the Icelandic indie rock scene. Mammút’s song “Salt” is featured on their most recent album Komdu til Mín Svarta Syster and won “Song of the Year” at least year’s IMA.

Mammút will be playing at Gamla Bíó on Wednesday November 5 at 11:20 p.m. and at the Reykjavík Art Museum on Saturday November 8 at 9:00 p.m.


Hafdís Huld, by Dominick Cavaiani

Hafdís Huld has performed with iconic Icelandic band Gus Gus on two world tours, collaborated with F C Kahuna, and later won Best Pop Album at the 2007 Icelandic Music Awards for her debut solo album, Dirty Paper Cup. This past Spring, Hafdís Huld released her latest album, Home, which features songs written and recorded from her home just located outside of Reykjavík.

Hafdís Huld is growing an international reputation thanks to her incredible voice and unique songs, all full of vivid imagery and catchy hooks.

You can find her on FacebookTwitterYoutube and Soundcloud.

Hafdís Huld hits Frederiksen stage at Iceland Airwaves, 9:40 p.m., Friday November 7.


Hymnalaya, by Austin Montgomery

Hymnalaya will be back at Iceland Airwaves, bringing their complex sound with them. Still supporting their debut album Hymns, the group is looking to establish themselves as a constant at the citywide festival. “In My Early Years” encompasses their toned down, expansive sound. Drawing on old hymns, the large 15-member outfit has three lead members. The large group will add a touch of diversity infused with soft folk elements to close out the second night of Airwaves.

Hymnalaya will play Iðnó at 9:40 p.m. on November 6th.


Class begins September 2014–stay tuned for students’ work! In the meantime, check out what the 2013 class produced.

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