The Eurosonic Noorderslag festival takes place in the northern Dutch town of Groningen between January 14th - 17th. This long established networking platform for the European music industry attracts thousands of industry delegates and hundreds of acts in addition to a multitude of panels featuring keynote speakers, interviews, workshops, parties and meetings on the latest developments in the international music, media and interactive industry.
In 2015, Iceland will be the focus country at Eurosonic Noorderslag with partner Iceland Music Export announcing just yesterday that Kaleo, Kiasmos, Rökkurró and Samaris have been confirmed as the first Icelandic acts to play Europe's most important live music showcase and conference.
The innovative Icelandic music scene, epitomized by bands such as The Sugarcubes, Sigur Ros and Of Monsters & Men and by festivals such as Iceland Airwaves seems to perfectly mirror the musical manifesto of the forward thinking Eurosonic. The four bands confirmed so far are indicative of the diverse pool of musical talent spilling out of Iceland. Creative Director of the festival Peter Smidt couldn't agree more:
"For many years we have enjoyed the incredible amount of unique acts to come out of this small European country. We also have been amazed by the quality of Icelandic acts that have performed at previous editions of Eurosonic Noorderslag. We are looking forward to put a spotlight on all new Icelandic talents by doing the focus on Iceland at Eurosonic Noorderslag in January 2015."
For a band formed just a year and a half ago, Kaleo have already experienced considerable success. The indie-pop/rock quartet have had two number 1 hit singles, a debut album topping the Icelandic charts and received numerous awards at the Icelandic Music Awards in 2014. Information.
Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen's collaborative electronic project sets out to explore the area in-between Ólafur's acoustic, piano-based solo work and Janus's synth-heavy electro pop. Their self titled debut was recorded in Ólafur's newly-built studio in Reykjavík and released on Erased Tapes. Information.
With band members spending time between Tokyo, London and Reykjavík Rökkurró have been meticulously expanding their luscious musical palette. The success of the band's previous studio effort Í Annan Heim was largely unexpected. The album spent over 100 weeks in the Top 30 of the Icelandic charts. Information.
Samaris's performance at Iceland Airwaves in 2012 attracted the attention of One Little Indian – with whom they subsequently signed. The UK release in July 2013 of the group's two Icelandic EPs (as the eponymous Samaris album) sparked widespread interest and many glowing reviews. An acclaimed follow-up, Silkidrangar, was released in May 2014. Information.
Spotify playlist: http://buff.ly/1v3aLk2
Facebook/Twitter: Eurosonic Nooderslag / @ESNSnl #ESNS15
Words: Anna Wilson