KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2016, Day 1: Gangly

Iceland Airwaves
Katy McCourt-Basham
Photos by Jim Bennett

In a town as small as Reykjavik, densely packed with so much talent and collaboration, the term "supergroup" gets thrown around so much that it starts. That being said, Icelandic electronic band Gangly is a true supergroup. The band is a collaboration between three Icelandic powerhouse musicians: Sindri Már Sigfússon (Sin Fang, Seabear), Jófríður Ákadóttir (Pascal Pinon, JFDR, Samaris), and Úlfur Einarsson (Oyama). Jófríður’s distinctive, breathy voice and Úlfur’s falsetto perfectly complement Sindri’s gentle, pulsing trap beats, and autotuned backing vocals, making for a striking and dramatic sound. They’ve only released a couple singles (“Fuck With Someone Else” was KEXP Song of the Day earlier this year), and they’re still keeping waiting in suspense for a full-length release.

KEX Hostel was packed with festivalgoers hoping to catch some new songs from the secretive band. "Untitled 1" opened the set, with intermittent muted tones, it felt almost like they were trying to communicate with extra-terrestrial life a la Close Encounters, setting the scene for the spacey set that was to come. This and "Untitled 2" follow a similar theme of heartbreak and moving on, a sentiment perfectly evoked with their dark, moody music. While the music is consistently beautiful and atmospheric, there are elements to these songs that keep listeners from getting too complacent. You may hear a song begin with gentle, pulsing beats, but the bass drop will hit like a punch in the gut. There are moments where they push beyond the perimeters of beauty, heavily distorting the vocals with autotune, swinging pointedly in and out of pitch, making "Untitled 3" quietly unsettling, and alluringly abrasive. After going off-air, they closed the set with their single "Fuck With Someone Else," an extra treat for those in the room and watching online.

Stay tuned for Singapore Sling, live on air, online, and on Facebook at 11:00AM PST/ 02:00PM EST

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