While Iceland's economy might be going down the tubes, by no means does that mean there are less beats coming out of the small island. While Bjork, the Sugarcubes, and comparatively more recently Sigur Ros (who contribute a track to this collection) might be the best known musical exports, there are a wide range of artists simmering in the tiny country. Need proof? Look no farther than the Iceland Airwaves Festival. Started in 1999, the festival not only brings in top shelf acts from around the world but also showcases numerous locally grown bands.
Need more proof that you can listen to in the comfort of your own home? Check out Made In Iceland, a compilation of fifteen tracks from fifteen different Icelandic artists put together by Iceland Music Export. Just like with any compilation, there will be a few tracks that don't spin your wheels, but if you give it a chance, it also just might turn you on to some new bands that you wouldn't have experienced otherwise. Here are a few of my favorite tracks:
Seabear plays a dreamy sounding indie-pop that jaunts along at the speed of sunshine resplendent with angelic choruses echoing in the background. With its seven members, its sound has a lot of different parts all woven together to form a sound fuller than the initial comparison that springs to mind: Belle and Sebastian.
This is the fourth track from the album and is a relatively simple sounding number with extremely light instrumentation backing up Emiliana Torrini's charming vocals singing about "stalkerly love." If you happened to see the Lord of the Rings movies, Emiliana sang Gollum's Song for the soundtrack.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-The CD was supposed to be available on iTunes as an iMix on October 28th, but I haven't been able to spot it yet. Keep your eyes open for it and enjoy the above two tracks in the meantime.