“Iceland is hands down the most beautiful place I have ever visited and even though I know there are many great festivals happening all around the world, I have a difficult time imagining something as special as Iceland Airwaves.”
– Miyuki (2013 Iceland Airwaves Flyaway winner)
KEXP wants to send you and a friend to explore the land of ice, fire, and groundbreaking music. Since the 1999 inception of Iceland Airwaves, this tastemaker festival has presented Florence and the Machine, the Flaming Lips, and TV on the Radio as well as Icelandic icons like Sigur Rós, GusGus, and Of Monsters and Men.
With that kind of track record, you’re sure to return from Iceland Airwaves with a slew of new favorite artists. Enter now to win airfare, festival passes, and three nights hotel accommodations. While you’re waiting, here’s a sampling of some of this year’s eclectic musical offerings.
It’s been a long wait for fans of Fleet Foxes between albums. Six years to be exact. But Robin Pecknold and his fellow foxes have returned with Crack-Up, a batch of rich, melancholic folk rock that stands up alongside their finest work.
New Zealand’s Aldous Harding is one of the fresh discoveries we’ve come to expect from the curators at Iceland Airwaves. The intensely theatrical artist’s debut album on 4AD -- titled Party -- is making all kinds of waves with the music press.
Songwriter Benjamin Clementine is only 26 but he’s packed a lot of living into his quarter century on the planet. The UK-born artist has already won the Mercury Music Prize 2015 for ‘Album of the Year’. Along the way, At Least For Now has received accolades from numerous sources including Sunday Times which called the release “a remarkable, beyond-categorization debut album -- genuinely heart-wrenching.”
KEXP DJ Kevin Cole raved about Finnish artist Mikko Joensuu in a recent NPR roundup, describing his music as “a deeply cathartic release of pent-up emotions,” and “worth traveling 4,808 miles for — a small price for total transcendence.” Listen for yourself and prepare to be transported.
Lonely Parade is a band of three childhood friends who've been playing post-punk indie music together since 2012. Their most recent record No Shade was released on their own label Sleepwalk Tapes on September 18th, 2016. The trio toured eastern Canada and Ontario to support the release.
JFDR is the latest project from Jófríður Ákadóttir (Samaris, Pascal Pinon, Gangly), an artist who has received praise from no less than Icelandic legend Björk. “I got obsessed with her band Samaris a few years ago,” says Björk, “and then it was amazing to see her do her own stuff.”
The music world struck it rich in 1977. It was ground zero for punk, with debut albums from the Sex Pistols, The Damned, and Dead Boys, to name a few. And not just one, but two albums each from David Bowie and The Ramones. The year was so notable, The Clash wrote a song about it, with lyrics like...