KEXP at Iceland Airwaves 2013, Day 2: Mono Town

Iceland Airwaves, Live Performances
10/31/2013
Katy McCourt-Basham
photos by Morgen Schuler

Next on the KEXP broadcast live from KEX Hostel at Iceland Airwaves is KEXP favorite Mono Town. The Icelandic indie-rock trio, comprised of  Bjarki Sigurdsson (vocals, guitar), Börkur Hrafn Birgisson (guitar) and Daði Birgisson (piano), formerly of B.Sig, have a bit of a Britpop-meets-spaghetti-western sound. They are currently working on their debut record In the Eye of the Storm.

The band, one of the major highlights of Airwaves so far,  has a huge sound, and it's not difficult to imagine them shortly playing venues big enough to match. Their sound is very Britpop, bringing to mind the likes of Radiohead and Oasis, but also pulling from a variety of other influences. They opened with "Place the Sound," which had an almost twangy western sound. Next was "Jackie O," which builds beautifully from it's more sparse intro, to a huge epic guitar sound, reminiscent of T-Rex's "Children of the Revolution," and punctuated by (the least twee possible) hand claps.

"In the Eye of the Storm," the title track from their upcoming album, was a bit of a quieter song. It had a more acoustic-focused intro, with beautiful harmonies, and the electric guitar carrying the melody over the top. "Peacemaker" had a very distinctly Britpop feel, but had a bit of a sunny, beachy feel.

They ended the set with "Can Deny," which shows some late-70's funk influence in the guitars, with a stripped down interlude featuring reverby guitars and chiming keys. The end was chaotic, but quite enjoyable, with singer Bjarki Sigurdsson putting down his guitar  in favor of dancing and wailing into the microphone.

Next on KEXP at 11:30 PST/18:30 GMT is Pétur Ben. Stay tuned! Find out more about our broadcast during Iceland Airwaves here.

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