Tag Archives: Bat For Lashes

Interview: Amanda Merdzan

Amanda Merdzan

Amanda Merdzan

Australian-born and London-based, Amanda Merdzan, has been gearing up to release her ‘Commands’ EP, which is finally out today.

We had a chat with Amanda about its release and her music, in general.

For those of you who don’t know you, tell us a bit more about yourself and how you got into music.

I started playing guitar when I was really young, and spent a lot of my younger years at all ages gigs after discovering the world of grunge and pop-punk music! I formed a few bands back then and would always be jamming with them in my parents garage or at one of the other kids houses. One thing lead to another, a punk rock EP, a few folk records later and here I am! It’s been an interesting progression.

Describe your sound in three words.

Dark Electro Pop.

Your EP, ‘Commands’, is coming out on the 25th July. Tell us more about the meaning behind it.

Leading up to writing the EP there were a lot of significant changes taking place in my life, which became the focal point of the songs. The title ‘Commands’ comes from the feeling of having very little control in the situations I was experiencing.

A close friendship of mine was on it’s way out the door, and I was learning that people can change very quickly when being guided by the will of others. I’d also just revealed the relationship with my girlfriend that I had been hiding from everyone for a long time, and I was trying to navigate my way through all the challenges that came with that.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

I’ve always had a large folk influence, but when I was writing this EP I was listening to a lot of Broods, Grimes and Fever Ray.

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

Bat For Lashes, Haux, Anna Of The North and Amanda Bergman.

Order ‘Commands’ on iTunes here.

Sounds like: Leena Ojala, Rhye, Emma Louise, MUNA, Shura, Chinah, Wet

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CHELAN – Beams

CHELAN by Matt Drenik

CHELAN by Matt Drenik

CHELAN (pronounced sh-lan) is a band comprised of classical music teacher Jennifer Grady, film/TV music composer Justin Hosford, and drummer Chad Austinson.

‘Beams’ is the lead single from their latest album, ‘Vultures’, which the band say has more of a synth pop sound than their previous endeavours.

‘Vultures’ is out on 26 August.

Sounds like: Bat For Lashes, Susanne Sundfør, White Sea, First Aid Kit

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Pumarosa – Cecile

Pumarosa

Pumarosa

It’s nearly the end of weekend, so time for some lush indie pop for your ears, courtesy of London five-piece, Pumarosa.

Pumarosa originally started as a duo when drummer Nick was to only musician to turn up to a new project rehearsal in London. After moving to a warehouse in Manor House, they met Henry, Tomoya and Neville and began a period of intensely hot rehearsal in a 10′ x 10′ chipboard room. In the summer of 2015, the band was offered a residency in the cavernous disused cinema of an Italian surrealist, situated within the cliffs of Calabria. Scraping together a van and driving non-stop to Italy, the band worked on new material, and it was in Italy that they settled on the name Pumarosa: in part reflecting Isabel’s Chilean roots, but also the jungle fruit of the same name.

Their new single is a psychedelic disco number called ‘Cecile’, produced by Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, Bat For Lashes, Toy).

‘Cecile’ is out via Chess Club/Mom + Pop.

Sounds like: The Editors, Lucius, Goldfrapp, Karen O, Bat For Lashes, Talking Heads

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Tradiio Exclusive: Interview With Britt Daley

Britt Daley

Britt Daley

Britt Daley has been causing quite a stir with her single ‘Move Me’, so we decided to find out more about the songstress from the US.

For those of you who don’t know you, tell us a bit more about yourself and how you got into music.

Music was always playing in our household and as I grew up musicality was highly encouraged. For my 5th birthday my grandmother bought me an upright Baldwin, insisting on lessons. I think my grandmother had this dream of me becoming a concert pianist… the ‘female Liberace’, but that was thwarted when I began performing professionally with the Orlando Youth Opera. I continued piano lessons but I loved to sing so I was taken under the wing of Linda Ronstadt’s former vocal coach.

Describe your sound in three words.

Dreamy. Electronic. Synth-pop.

We discovered you on Tradiio after listening to your track ‘Move Me’, which has received thousands of plays. Were you expecting such a positive response to your debut?

I wasn’t expecting it to garner this much attention because it’s so hard to cut through the noise as an independent artist.  But ‘Move Me’ did pretty well, which I can attribute in part to the blog attention it received early on, Soundcloud shares/playlists, and it’s presence on the Tradiio platform. Super pleased that it reached as many people as it has because it’s one of my favorites.

You’ve also collaborated with Morgan Page. How did that come about?

I was originally connected to the project through Jay and Nick of The Oddictions, who also co-wrote and produced, “Running Wild”.  They heard a song I had worked on with mutual friend, producer/DJ Nicademass, and got in touch with me via Twitter.  Despite the three of us living in the same town we didn’t meet in person until a couple months into the project. I’ve become pretty accustomed to working with other artists and producers remotely, and it can have it setbacks, but it’s mostly been positive because it allows me to work with people from all over the world, which has been truly rewarding.  Many of the people I work with are based in L.A., but I’m also working with a producer based in Portland on my debut solo album, and I have another collaboration with a producer who lives in the Netherlands. There are a few pretty cool projects down the pipeline that I’m very excited about.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

Gosh… where to start… as a kid… Björk, Madonna, Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley, and later rediscovering 80’s New Wave bands like Depeche Mode, Tears For FearsThe Cars, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys… (I could go on).

In more recent years, I’ve been influenced by Bat For Lashes, Sia, Com Truise, James Vincent McMorrow, Imogen Heap, Miike Snow, Marina & The Diamonds

I also draw upon influences from my classical and theatrical training… and of course my personal life experiences.  Every song on my album is very personal and each one captures a different moment of my life over the past few years.

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

I have pretty eclectic taste and I’m constantly finding amazing artists that might not be very new, but they’re new to me… good music is good music.  Right now I’ve been listening to Kidnap Kid, Tame Impala, Jason Isbell, Nikki Lane, Taylor McFerrin, and Broods… Check out Kidnap Kid – Moments ft Leo Stannard it’s stunning.

We’ve invested in Britt Daley. Have you? Listen to more of their songs and support them at tradiio.com/britt-daley.

Sounds like: Miike Snow

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Lexi Scherr – Interview and Ready Aim Fire (Feat. Cosmic Retro)

Lexi Scherr by Liz Maney

Lexi Scherr by Liz Maney

New York City-based, pop/singer-songwriter, Lexi Scherr, recently released her new single, ‘Ready Aim Fire’, featuring Cosmic Retro.

The track is a racy one, with charming falsetto vocals and clean synths.

Find out a bit more about Lexi and how she met Cosmic Retro by reading our interview with her below:

How and why did you start making music?

I started making music when I was around 2 years old. That was when I started writing little songs. It was mostly for attention, and for the most part, I succeeded in annoying my parents to no end with my racket. I hadn’t realized yet that loud does not equal good. I started playing piano around 9 and really began honing my craft around 13. For some reason I felt like I had a story to tell and that I wanted to do so through song. It was sort of like a sneaky way of telling people how I felt about them.

Describe your sound in three words.

Pretty Damn Catchy.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

I learned a lot about classic rock and oldies from our elementary school carpools. It was my introduction to really really solid melodies & hooks. And in college, my roommate introduced me to indie pop & glam rock. Throughout my musical education, I have become inspired by a variety of artists with very different styles; From The Beatles to Bat for Lashes; Radiohead to The Talking Heads.

How did you feel when Joseph Gordon-Levitt chose your track for his HitREcord show?

Stoked & honored!  What more can I say? It’s Mr. Tasha McCauley for crying out loud!

Your new track ‘Ready Aim Fire’ features Cosmic Retro. How did that come about?

Cosmic Retro is this awesome producer who is also part of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s online production company, HitRECord.org (as I am). I am a little bit obsessed with the 80s, so when I found his track on the site I felt compelled to jump on with a melody & lyrics that could do his amazing instrumental justice. He’s fantastic. I’ve only met him once in person, when he was rolling through New York. He was the one wearing the ridiculous yellow boots (his words).

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

Something new from 2015 that I’m diggin’ right now is “Lisa Sawyer” by Leon Bridges. But his whole album is really fantastic retro-soul. I am also loving the delicious indie pop track “10,000 Emerald Pools” by BØRNS.

Sounds like: Eliza Doolittle, Evvy, Noosa, Dominique, Ronika, Broods, Shura, B. Miles, Fiona Apple, Annie Lennox, Annie

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Exclusive Premiere: GØSPEL – Other Side

GØSPEL

GØSPEL

GØSPEL is London based trio Beth Anderton-Allen, Will Pennel and Chris Willsher.

We are proud to premiere ‘Other Side’; the B-side to ‘Ain’t Gonna Let You In’, which is out on 22 June.

‘Other Side’ is an atmospheric track with raw, live-sounding vocals from Beth and a laid back distorted bass line to top.

Usually B-sides aren’t as decent as their A-side counterparts, but this track is serious competition to ‘Aint Gonna Let You In’.

Listen below:

You can also catch GØSPEL headlining at The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington for their single launch party on 24 June.

Sounds like: Fleetwood Mac, London Grammar, Bat for Lashes, The National. Chvrches, Women’s Hour, Daughter, MS MR, Broods

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The Staves – Steady

The Staves - Steady

The Staves – Steady

British sisters, The Staves have been busy recording a new album in a Wisconsin cabin with Justin Vernon.

New track ‘Steady’ is a hearty dose of folk for our ear drums. Full of atmospheric strings and wild harmonies.

Following on from the ‘Blood I Bleed’ EP, ‘Steady’ is taken from the upcoming album ‘If I Was’. It is out on Nonesuch/Atlantic Records in March.

Sounds like: First Aid Kit, Susanne Sundfør, Kate Bush, Bat For Lashes, Vaults, Grizzly Bear, Say Lou Lou, Of Monsters and Men, Fleet Foxes

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Susanne Sundfør – Delirious

Susanne Sundfør has released yet another new synthtastic pop song; ‘Delirious’, taken from her forthcoming album Ten Love Songs due for released 16th February 2015 through Sonnet Sound via Kobalt.

The tune is a complex, changing and intense pop song, beginning in fear, building in urgency and ending in pure ecstatic elevation.  Delicious pulsating synths, cinematic string accompaniments are all present in this stunning track, contributing to the only way to describe 'Delirious'; Epic. 

UK and European tour dates are as follows:

March
3rd Scala, London
11th Kerk, Ghent
12th Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, Cologne
14th Paradiso, Amsterdam
16th Terrace Hill, Hamburg
17th Berghain Kantine, Berlin
19th Pumpehuset, Copenhagen
20st Kägelbanan, Stockholm

Preorder the album Ten Love Songs here.

Sounds like: Vaults, Young Ejecta, OH Land, Kate Bush, Bat For Lashes, Maps, Young Summer Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | MySpace | YouTube

SUSANNE SUNDFØR – FADE AWAY

Susanne_Sundfr_Press_Main_2_credit_Sofia_Fredricks_Sprung__med_

Norwegian songstress Susanne Sundfør’s latest tune ‘Fade Away’ is an 80s-influenced pop song with distinctive, wild vocals at the core, carrying the pain of two lovers drifting apart.

The video, made by Swedish director Laerke Herthoni, is set in a smokey, unfamiliar dystopia, finding Susanne in a dream-like state surrounded by passing silhouettes. Additionally Sundfør has announced a highly anticipated London show at The Lexington 3rd March 2015.

This also follows swiftly on from the release of a remix EP last week, with ‘Fade Away’ being reworked by Big Black Delta, Bjorn Torske, Coucheron and Maps. Her forthcoming new album ‘Ten Love Songs’ released on 16th February 2015 through Sonnet Sound via Kobalt.

Sounds like: Vaults, Young Ejecta, OH Land, Kate Bush, Bat For Lashes, Maps, Young Summer
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An Indietronica Preview of Iceland Airwaves 2014

Iceland Airwaves

Since the first edition was held in 1999 in an airplane hangar, Iceland Airwaves has become the festival for music lovers, being praised by many as the best music festival in the world.

Set amongst beautiful scenery in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, the festival celebrates homegrown talent as well as musical craft from further afield.

Haven’t got a ticket? Don’t fear! Indietronica is attending to find out what all the fuss is about.

By the powers of the internet we bring you a preview of the lesser known bands and our ones to watch, straight to your computer or phone screens.

ADULT JAZZ

Adult Jazz

Adult Jazz

Adult Jazz is a four-piece from the UK. Their debut album ‘Gist Is’ has taken four years to make and was released via their own label Spare Thought.

They sound like a jazzed-up version of Bombay Bicycle Club or a mellowed out version of Jagwar Ma.

We are definitely looking forward to seeing them play.

Sounds like: Bombay Bicycle Club, Jagwar Ma, Panda Cubs, The 1975, Yeasayer, Saux

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ALICE BOMAN

Alice Boman

Alice Boman

With simple lyrics and ethereal overtones, Alice Boman is a quintessentially Swedish singer.

Have a listen to her stunning cover of War on Drugs‘s ‘Red Eyes’:

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Sounds like: Lykke Li, Kate Bush, Ellie Goulding, Rae Morris

ÁSGEIR

Ásgeir

Ásgeir

For fans of Bon Iver and Deptford Goth looking for something slightly different, meet twenty-two year old Icelandic singer/songwriter, Ásgeir (aka Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson).

Ásgeir’s debut album, ‘Dyrd í dauðathogn’ was mostly written by his 72 year old father and became so popular in his home country, 10% of the Icelandic population is estimated to own a copy.

The English-language version of the album (‘In The Silence’) was translated by John Grant.

Sounds like: Bon Iver, Deptford Goth, RY X

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BALLET SCHOOL 

Ballet School

Ballet School

Berlin-based Ballet School is Irish Rosie Blair on vocals/guitar, Japanese-Brazilian Michel Collet on lead guitar and Louis McGuire on drums.

Blair and Collet met two years ago in Berlin when Blair heard Collet playing his guitar in the U-bahn. Sharing their love of the Cocteau-Twins, she immediately asked him to form a band. In 2012 they began collaborating with McGuire.

A mélange of ’80s pop and R’N’B is always at the forefront of the band’s agenda.

Sounds like: Kitten, Claire, BLSHS, Kavinsky, Madonna, Robyn, Ronika

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BERNDSEN

Berndsen

Berndsen

From modern 80’s inspired music to a musician who sticks to his roots and breathes 80’s electronica.

Berndsen (aka David Berndsen) is a bearded iconic figure in Iceland and regularly works with Hermigervill; one of Iceland’s most notable producers.

Sounds like: Depeche Mode, New Order, Tesla Boy, Salt Ashes, Graingerboy, Thomas Azier, Soft Cell

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BIRD

bird

bird

bird is Jon Valur Gudmundsson, a successful 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Iceland who makes electro-infused indie pop.

Sounds like: Two Door Cinema Club, Ásgeir, 1860, Kid Astray

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BLAENAVON

Blaenavon

Blaenavon

Blaenavon is a three-piece indie outfit from Hampshire, UK formed of Harris McMillan, Frank Wright, and Benjamin Gregory.

Heavily guitar-based, it is no surprise that these guys are being written about by the likes of NME and Clash.

Their new EP ‘Koso’ is out now on Transgressive Records.

Sounds like: The Macabees, Two Door Cinema Club, Young Kato, The Smiths, Joy Division, The Editors, White Lies, Daughter

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CARIBOU

Caribou

Caribou

Following the success of ‘Swim’ in 2010, Caribou is finally back!

At first glance, his latest track ‘Our Love’ is a long wave length of dance music beats, but upon further inspection it is a lot more gritty and the R&B hooks remind us of Inner City‘s ‘Good Life’.

Sounds like: Roosevelt, Metronomy, All We Are, New Build, Touch Sensitive, Rufus

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DISA

Disa

Disa

Iceland born Disa writes celestial, synth pop. She left Reykjavik to live in Copenhagen and pursue her dream of singing.

She is now signed to Danish label Tigerspring.

Sounds like: Salt Ashes, I BREAK HORSES, Kate Boy, Death Rattle, Dimond Saints, Brian Eno

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EAST INDIA YOUTH

eastindiayouth970

East Londoner William Doyle is East India Youth.

His tracks are stark and choate masterpieces with marching and minimal drum rolls.

Sounds like: Sivu, These New Puritans, Conner Youngblood, Brian Eno

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EAST OF MY YOUTH

East Of My Youth

East Of My Youth

East Of My Youth is Herdis and Thelma from Reykjavik.

Citing influences from classical and modern genres, the duo creates experimental pop music.

Sounds like: Austra, Feist, OH Land

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EMILIE NICOLAS

Emilie Nicolas

Emilie Nicolas

Emilie Nicolas is another one of Norway’s amazing exports.

Her voice immediately demands your attention and we have had her atmospheric cover of Norwegian band DumDum Boys‘s 1990 track ‘PStereo’ on repeat in the Indietronica office.


Sounds like: Tove Styrke, KYIKI, BLSHS, Monogem, Tove Lo, Lykke Li, Elliphant, X priest X, La Roux

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FARAO

Farao

Farao

Following on from Nicolas is Farao, another Norweigen singer/songwriter with a knack for combing emotive lyrics and indie-folk sounds.

Sounds like: Poliça, Emilie Nicolas, Bon Iver, Rae Morris, First Aid Kit, Susanne Sundfør

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FURA

Fura

Fura

FURA is an Icelandic project between songstress Björt Sigfinnsdóttir, and producer duo Hallur Jónsson and Janus Rasmussen.

FURA embraces the element of drastic nature, isolation and emotional depth.

Sounds like: Phantogram, Lykke Li, Nina Yasmineh

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FUTURE ISLANDS

Future Islands

Future Islands

The serious electronic Baltimore trio is back.

Advising us about love and loss, and offering up mesmerising performances, we are glad Future Islands will be getting the recognition they deserve at Iceland Airwaves.

Sounds like: New Order, Suzuki Method, Wild Beasts

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HIMBRIMI

Himbrimi

Himbrimi

Himbrini is an Icelandic band comprising of Margrét Rúnarsdóttir on vocal and keys, Birkir Rafn Gíslasson on guitar, Hálfdán Árnason on bass and Skúli Arason on keys and Egill Rafnsson on drums.

Himbrini offers up soft, Scandinavian pop and it is lush. This is one band we cannot wait to watch live.

Sounds like: Lykke Li, Röyksopp, London Grammar, Bat For Lashes, Island Fox, IYES, The XX

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HOW TO DRESS WELL

How To Dress Well

How To Dress Well

How To Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) is an American singer who twists up sensual guitar-based R&B with sparkling synth pop.

He is definitely one to watch.

Sounds like: LANY, Great Good Fine OK, Until The Ribbon Breaks, July Child

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JUNGLE

Jungle

Jungle

The music-by-soul collective Jungle has been bubbling away at the surface for some time now. Their music offers a pinch of Gorillaz-esque bass lines and sexy lyrics.

Sounds like: Rudimental, Disclosure, Le Youth, Clean Bandit, Gorillaz

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KAJAK

KAJAK

KAJAK

We absolutely love Icelandic cousins, KAJAK.

They are heavily influenced by tribal cultures and in their live shows they mix visual arts and theatrics, making it a special and engaging experience to watch.

Sounds like: Coldplay, I BREAK HORSES, Kate Boy, Sia

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KLANGKARUSSELL

Klangkarussell

Klangkarussell

Klangkarussell is Tobias Rieser and Adrian Held; an Austrian electronic dance music production duo who formed in 2011.

They are known for ‘Sonnentanz’, a track that accidentally became a hit last year. We’ve watched Klangkarussell perform live with their band and they put on a good show!

Sounds like: Will Heard, Milky Chance, Klingande, Wankelmut, MÖWE

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KWABS

Kwabs

Kwabs

Vienna-via-London producer Kwabs‘s music is soulful with an electro twist.

Kwabs is a growing artist and we are expecting a number one hit soon!

Sounds like: Azekel, MNEK, SOHN, James Blake, Ben Khan, Banks, Jesse Ware, Kele Okereke

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LILY THE KID

Lily the Kid

Lily the Kid

Lily the Kid is the brainchild of Lilja K. Jónsdóttir (who was the former front woman of Icelandic electro-pop veterans Bloodgroup) and her brother, the producer Hallur Jónsson.

Breathtaking vocals, combined with a bass line bubbling at the surface makes Lily the Kid very special indeed.

Sounds like: Banks, Shura, Blood Orange

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ROOSEVELT

Roosevelt

ROOSEVELT

Roosevelt (aka Marius Lauber) is a Cologne-based electronic artist with a flair for discotronica. He effortlessly emerges warm beats with hypnotic psychedelia.

Sounds like: The Whitest Boy Alive, Caribou, Tourist., Jagwar Ma, Washed Out, Neon Indian, Yellerkin

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SHURA

Shura

Shura

Shura (aka Aleksandra Denton) was born in London to a Russian actress and an English documentary filmmaker.

Her last (but unreleased) track ‘Touch’ gained 3 million hits on Soundcloud.

Her music can be described as a contemporary mix of twinkling, ‘Lucky-Star’-era Madonna with the bedroom-R&B grooves of Blood Orange, filtered through a haze of Balearic synths and swirling, Warpaint-inspired guitars.

Shura has just signed to Polydor.

Sounds like: Blood Orange, Massive Attack, Madonna

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SISY EY

Sísý Ey

Sísý Ey

Sísý Ey (pronounced See See Ay) was formed in 2011 by three sisters; Elin, Elisabet and Sigga. Their goal was to sing live house music, and with the help of DJ Oculus, their dream has become a reality.

Sounds like: Gorgon City, Klangkarussell, TIEKS, Celeste

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THE WALKING WHO

The Walking Who

The Walking Who

The Walking Who is a psychedelic rock trio based based in Sydney and is made up by Rohin Brown, Paul Mclean and Jay Drury. Their music is inspired by Byron Bay surf chimes and folk.

Sounds like: War on Drugs, Yellerkin, Jagwar Ma, Roosevelt, Empire of the Sun, The Doors

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VOK

Vök

Vök

Vök is a dreamy electro duo-turned-trio from Iceland.

Taking a slightly different slant on traditional Icelandic electro music, we especially like the smooth tones from the saxophone, courtesy of Andri Már Enoksson.

Sounds like: Death Rattle, Duran Duran, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Chairlift, Poliça, Björk, Tegan & Sara

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YOUNG KARIN

Young Karin

Young Karin

Young Karin is a simple and dreamy art pop production by Reykjavik-based Karin & Logi Pedro.

Having already been nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards, we anticipating brilliant things from the duo.

Sounds like: Banks, July Child

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Having already sold out (apart from limited package deals), this year is set to be as explosive as ever! You can track the event on the Iceland Airwaves 2014 app.