Photo courtesy of Kyle DioRio http://www.dioriofotografia.com/

Sometime

Seldom do I see a band that slaps me in face so hard at first glance. Sometime performing at Kexport was such a band. Ethereal hooks, pulsating synth arpeggios and a distinctive sensuality in their lyrics makes them stand out in a sea of bands influenced by 80’s Synthpop. Their newest single, “I Will Run” could have taken a turn for the passé the all too familiar monotone of the cold, mysterious chanteuse, but instead flares up on ignites during it’s final chorus break. Other Icelandic artists such as Berndsen and Futuregrapher have experimented with the sounds of the past, and it’s dangerous territory to cover; you always run the risk of sounding ridiculous and down right insulting by utilizing older musical ideas, but Sometime pulls it off. Somehow, they are able to bypass sounding like purveyors of cliché, and this is mostly due to the high fidelity of their production, their tasteful choice of drum samples and synth patches, and the timbre of Diva’s voice, which is anything but the stuff of a generic electronic Prima Donna. She genuinely sounds great against these beats. Earlier Sometime work takes cues from trip hop, akin to bands like Belleruche, albeit with a unique Minimoog drenching, as evidenced in tracks such as “In Shadows”. Early tracks such as “Catch Me If You Can” are reminscient of  Portishead and some Depeche Mode’s earlier work, and that alone I believe warrants them attention abroad. theDanni simply knows how to produce, and produce well.

I have to admit to feeling a bit pedantic in how I’ve crafted this description of Sometime, but that’s only because I feel like I’m a latecomer into their world and therefore can’t really do it justice. As they described “Acid Make-Out: Music From The Motion Picture” to me after their set, I got the impression that there is a whole spectrum of creative activities that this band pursues, and I say the more the merrier; this band rocks.

dj. flugvél og geimskip

Courtesy of dj. flugvél og geimskip and Sofar

Courtesy of Nanna Dís and Sofar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any reader of ROK knows that I like this artist. She’s honest, funny and strange; she makes adults chuckle and children run around, arms flailing about. You can hear in how she speaks what kind of person she is, and as being the kind of cynical, jaded person that I am, it’s really refreshing. In this interview, dj and I speak, and you can hear an almost grandmotherly joy and care in her voice, as if she was telling a small child a story in bed, teddy in arm, by candlelight, with milk and cookies on the nightstand.

But there’s more than that, too – she studied at the Iceland Academy Of The Arts as a visual artist, she had a helping hand in building Gallery Kunstschlager, Her crossover to music from fine art seems seamless, a nice segue into “art electronica”, or the avant-garde, if someone had to classify what she does. Her struggles with formal education I personally find inspiring – she proves that you don’t have to follow any typical path to make something truly fresh and interesting. Her art background reinforces her stature, but even without it, she’d still be relevant on the scene as a creative. It’s also cool that she makes her own music videos. Ever see the GLAMÚR Í GEIMNUM! video? It’s genius. It’s also nice to know she’ll soon be Big In Japan.

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Soffía Ósk

Photo courtesy of Joshua Gottlieb

Photo courtesy of Joshua Gottlieb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though Soffía has largely been a presence in the United Kingdom, her appearance in Iceland has not gone unnoticed. ROK first met with her at All Tomorrow’s Parties and have grown ever curious to know more about this singer/songwriter. Pixie-like, blue haired, Ukelele in hand and fascinated  by electronica, one can only surmise that Soffía’s trajectory in Iceland could have her easily stand alongside artists such as Brother Grass and perhaps even Snorri Helgason, given enough time and dedication to her craft. Her pop sensibilities make her interesting, as it would seem many Icelandic artists attempt to isolate their own “experimental” sound in keeping with the trends in something We’ll call “Icelandicism”: the etherealness of electronica, whispery vocals and delayed…well, everything. Her, not so much. Her music is commercially viable, fun, and actually, the definition of music: something that is pleasant or gratifying to hear. If Icelandic culture is heading eastward, Soffía is traversing westerly with style and panache.