KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2016, Day 4: Andy Svarthol

Iceland Airwaves
Katy McCourt-Basham
Photos by Jim Bennett

Next on the KEXP live video stream from KEX Hostel at Iceland Airwaves Music Festival was brand-new band Andy Svarthol. Comprised of brothers Egill and Bjarki Hreinn Viðarsson). Andy Svarthol came together in 2015 after Egill’s other project Nóra went on hiatus. They aren’t even in the festival’s official lineup, but that’s not slowing them down. They’re playing four off-venue shows, and if things continue on this trajectory, it won't be long before we see them on the official schedule. They are currently writing their first record. 

There were fans of all ages crowded into KEX to see Andy Svarthol's first show. They opened with "Drunur," with gentle bleep-blooping synths, hypnotizing tones, and restrained vocal harmonies, it served as a gentle introduction to their upbeat sound. Their sister Auður joind them for the next few songs, taking over the synths as Egill and Bjarki gradually transitioned from synths to guitars as the set progressed and intensified. Though this was their first proper show, their music has been making the rounds, with locals whooping at familiar song names. "Ofbirta" was a crowd favorite (and yesterday's Song of the Day), glimmering and catchy, with crashing cymbals and an uptempo beat. "Írena Sírena" had a tropical feel, bringing a ray of sunshine to a dreary Reykjavik evening. Keeping the audience on their toes, Andy Svarthol got weird with "Vargur," dismissing the band, and playing the buzzy, bass-heavy song as a duo. This was a very solid first performance for the emerging act. It'll be a pleasure to see where things go from here.

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