The enigmatic Icelanders of ÁRSTÍÐIR are now releasing a new video for the track ‘Lover’ taken from the band’s latest album ‘Nivalis’.
ÁRSTÍÐIR comment on the video:
“When making an album the simplest songs can often prove to be the most captivating ones in the end, and Lover is one of those little gems that almost got over-looked when we were in the process of making our album Nivalis. At the outset the song was a simple ballad played on a single acoustic guitar in a laid back tempo. Then someone in the band had the idea to speed it up and try a funky beat over it. The next day we started to play around with vintage synthesizers, like the Moog and Juno 106, and suddenly we had the version that you hear in this video. The video is recorded in our unique rehearsing space in Reykjavik (an old disused coal power plant). This is where most of our music is conceived and so it felt right do shoot the video there. And of course we’re playing on the same synthesizers that shaped the sound of ‘Lover’. Enjoy!”
ÁRSTÍÐIR on tour
ÁRSTÍÐIR have furthermore embarked on another European tour leg, after their successful shows in support of the mighty SÓLSTAFIR last November, and their “Special Holiday Concert” run in December. The full list of confirmed dates can be found below:
02 Feb 19 Paris (FR) Le Klub
03 Feb 19 Madrid (ES) Wurlitzer Balroom
04 Feb 19 Barcelona (ES) Razz 3
05 Feb 19 Marseille (FR) Molotov
08 Feb 19 Ilirska Bistrica (SI) MKNZ
09 Feb 19 Ljubljana (SI) Orto Bar
10 Feb 19 Budapest (HU) Durer Kert
11 Feb 19 Bucharest (RO) Quantic Club
12 Feb 19 Cluj Napoca (RO) Subform
13 Feb 19 Prague (CZ) Klub Modrá Vopice
14 Feb 19 Solothurn (CH) Kulturfabrik Kofmehl
16 Feb 19 ST. Gallen (CH) Nordklang Festival
17 Feb 19 München (DE) Zehner
18 Feb 19 Salzburg (AT) Rockhouse
19 Feb 19 Kraków (PL) Klub Studencki Zaczeck
20 Feb 19 Vienna (AT) Arena
21 Feb 19 Poznan (PL) Meskalina
22 Feb 19 Nürnberg (DE) Club Stereo
23 Feb 19 Dresden (DE) Scheune Dresden
24 Feb 19 Berlin (DE) Frannz Club
25 Feb 19 Ascheberger (DE) Landgasthof Langenwarde
02 Mar 19 Gothenburg (SE) Sticky Fingers
03 Mar 19 Stockholm (SE) Fryshuset Klubben
ÁRSTÍÐIR will be playing in support of their recently released album ‘Nivalis’:
(Season Of Mist)
1. While This Way (3:11)
2. Lover (2:53)
3. Please Help Me (3:06)
4. Entangled (2:51)
5. Like Snow (3:34)
6. Þar sem enginn fer (sjálfviljugur) (4:00)
7. Circus (3:10)
8. Órói (3:32)
9. Mute (4:38)
10. Conviction (3:38)
11. In the Wake of You (3:35)
12. Wasting Time (3:21)
13. Passion (4:38)
ÁRSTÍÐIR redefine their sound and take an evolutionary quantum leap that will catapult the eclectic Icelandic band from a highly praised phenomenon at the fringe straight to the centre of international attention. They were never an ugly duckling, but now their musical swan has emerged in its full glorious beauty on ‘Nivalis’.
The Icelanders have never easily fit into any stylistic drawer and hence attracted a particular long list of attempts of a musical definition that ranges from indie rock via progressive rock, indie folk, chamber folk and pop, neo-classical to minimalism.
There is some truth in all these categories assigned to ÁRSTÍÐIR, but no single description entirely catches their overall sound entirely. Always something else is appearing that is adding and contradicting the first impression. Although everything said above about the band still remains true, new elements appear on ‘Nivalis’ that add up to a big change. One of these items can easily be identified as drums playing a much stronger role than it did on previous releases, which is a welcome side-effect of ÁRSTÍÐIR recently supporting label-mates SÓLSTAFIR on their extended European tour. Other changes are harder to specify, yet the Icelanders seem to have turned all those switches into the right direction – and not only due to a brilliant, crystalline, warm, and transparent production that perfectly brings together the dominant acoustic instruments with their electronic counterparts to evoke a fragile melancholy and embracing emotionality.
Those inevitable comparisons with fellow countrymen SIGUR RÓS will most likely not go away with ‘Nivalis’, although ÁRSTÍÐIR have clearly developed a style very much their own. Yet other parallels drawn about past references such as SIMON & GARFUNKEL or PENTANGLE are bound to make way to fresher and more recent names pointing way past the also previously mentioned RADIOHEAD.
Emerging from the burgeoning Icelandic music scene in 2008, when the band’s three founding members discovered their mutual love for vocal harmonies despite coming from different genres. Daniel, Gunnar and Ragnar quickly went from playing acoustic cover versions to leaving their own sonic footprint by amalgamating influences taken from different styles into something quite unique, which might tentatively be dubbed “Icelandic independent”.
With early lyrical references pointing towards the spectacular nature and scenery of this volcanic island and the strongly contrasting moods of its seasons, the band took the name ÁRSTÍÐIR, which means “seasons” in Icelandic.
At home, the band experienced a fast rise. Only four months after its inception, ÁRSTÍÐIR had risen from performing in a coffee shop in Reykjavik to scoring a number one hit on national radio with the track “Sunday Morning”.
The Icelanders published their self-titled debut, ‘Árstíðir’ in summer 2009, and while their home country was reeling from the market crash, the band’s stocks went up. During the air traffic disrupting eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, ÁRSTÍÐIR embarked on their first international tour. Over the next years, the band stayed continuously on the road and gathered a dedicated fan base in more than 30 countries.
Their second album, ‘Svefns Og Vöku Skil’ followed in 2011 and, only a year later, the Icelanders won the prestigious Eiserner Eversteiner European Folk Music Award in Germany. While on the road in Germany in 2013, a friend of ÁRSTÍÐIR recorded an impromptu performance of the old Icelandic hymn, “Heyr Himna Smiður” in a train station, which went viral on YouTube and has attracted more than 6 million views to date. Backed by the interest sparked by this global hit, ÁRSTÍÐIR continued their head-lining tours and furthermore supported Swedish band PAIN OF SALVATION and Dutch vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen.
ÁRSTÍÐIR launched a highly successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014 to finance the recording of their third full-length ‘Hvel’, which translates as “spheres”. Following the release, the band embarked on a first US tour that reached from coast to coast. A full collaboration with Anneke van Giersbergen followed in 2016. The ‘Verloren Verleden’ album contains a collection of re-imagined traditional and classical songs.
Now the Icelanders return with their fourth album. ‘Nivalis’ offers everything that followers of ÁRSTÍÐIR love, but with this stunning masterpiece the band transcends all limitations created by genre to appeal to any friend of great music!
Recording: Sakaris Emil Joensen in Orgelsmiðjan and E7
Sound engineering: Daniel Auðunsson, Gunnar Már Jakobsson, Ragnar Ólafsson
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 11 mixed by Axel “Flex” Árnason at Studio ReFlex Ost
Tracks 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12 & 13 mixed by Arnar Guðjónsson at Aeronaut Studios
Track 7 mixed by Magnús Árni Øder Kristinsson at Orgelsmiðjan
Mastering: Glenn Schick
Daniel Auðunsson: guitar, vocals
Gunnar Már Jakobsson: baritone guitar, vocals
Ragnar Ólafsson: keyboards, vocals
Magnús Magnússon: drums and percussion on all tracks
Hálfdán Árnason: bass on track 2, 5
Arnar Guðjónsson: bass on track 4, 6, 9, 12
Guðrún Hulda Pálsdóttir: double bass on track 7
Sigrún Harðardóttir: violin and viola on all tracks except 8
Guillaume Lagravière: cello on track 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13
Jean-Samuel Bez: violin on track 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13
Unnur Jónsdóttir: cello on track 1, 6, 11, 12
Margrét Soffía Einarsdóttir: violin on track 1, 6, 11, 12
Þórunn Harðardóttir: viola on track 1, 6, 11, 12