Oct 3, 2014
Pre-order Innra via:
6 November - Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, (ICE)
9 November - Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, (ICE)
16 January - Eurosonic Noorderslag, Groningen (NL)
18 January - So What, Gouda (NL)
19 January - Roter Salon, Berlin (GER)
20 January - Pod Minoga, Poznan (PL)
Rökkurró return with a new studio album Innra, followed by a slot at this year’s Iceland Airwaves in November and a series of tour dates in January, including Eurosonic Noordeslag.
Innra proceeds the internationally acclaimed Í Annan Heim record which spent 100 weeks in the Icelandic chart’s Top 30 while international it garnered high praise from media such as NME, Clash, The Line of Best Fit, CMU Daily and the US’ KEXP Radio.
The first taster from Innra came in the form of English-speaking album track Killing Time, which premiered on The Line of Best Fit and featured on The Guardian’s blog late 2013, with the later describing the song as “warm, wonderfully textured number that finds stuttering rhythms judder underneath swelling instrumentals while the vocal’s unshakable sense of longing will lingers well after the song has finished.” This year, two successful singles have been released from Innra. The first, The Backbone (August) premiered on The Line of Best Fit in the UK, with the accompanying video premiering on Q Magazine in the UK and Under the Radar in USA. The second, Blue Skies (September), described as “alarmingly lush” and “graceful and passionate, emotive and poignant” by Gold Flake Paint who premiered the track.
The descriptions of the tracks are befitting for the album as a whole. There’s a new electronic element to Rökkurró’s, but one of synths mixed with gently textured, layered percussion. The result is a warm enveloping backdrop to singer Stefánsdóttir’s gentle and at times subtly sultry vocals.
The three year gap between the two albums gave Rökkurró the space to meticulously expand their luscious palette into the beautiful, dreamy soundscapes that is Innra. New members Helga on piano and Skúli on bass have been added to the line-up and time spent by the bands members between Tokyo, London and Reykjavík inspired Rökkurró to record their first part-English speaking record.
As front woman Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir explains:
“Up until now all of our albums have been in Icelandic, which we felt suited the music we were making. We saw writing lyrics in English as a challenge and an open door for something new. It actually felt easier to write more honestly in English. I wasn’t focusing as much on the poetic aspect rather than on my feelings what I wanted to express.
Innra is Icelandic for ‘inner’ or ‘on the inside’. We feel this word describes the album adequately, as Innra is our most personal work to date. The lyrics are honest and sincere, they contain fewer made-up stories, and make more real-life references compared to our previous efforts.”
Innra is produced by Helgi Hrafn Jónsson. The album is released on 27th October 2014 via Rökkurró Music on CD, Vinyl and Digitally.
1. Borders - 4:21
2. Weightless - 3:53
3. Sigling - 4:48
4. Killing Time - 3:00
5. The Backbone - 4:28
6. White Mountain - 4:38
7. The In Between - 2:19
8. Flugdrekar - 5:18
9. Blue Skies - 4:07
10. Hunger - 4:19
11. Red Sun - 4:30
Jul 30, 2014
The Line Of Best Fit Premiere. - The Backbone is out on 11 August 2014.
Back in October 2013, Rökkurró released a teaser from the new album in the form of English-speaking album track Killing Time, a three-minute, stripped-down piece of music that talks about “a person who feels young, but their body is failing them and how getting old is a misleading thing,” said Rökkurró vocalist Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir. “Our new sound has a few obvious changes. We have added more electronic elements. I have taken a break from the cello and have replaced it with a synthesiser.” This time around, production was done by renowned multi-instrumentalist and producer Helgi Hrafn Jónsson. “His ideas are fresh and we liked the fact that he chooses the artists he works with very carefully. We found out very soon that we shared a common vision for this project and that is really important.” - Stefánsdóttir.
Rökkurró self-release their new album later this year, on CD, Vinyl and Digitally. The album release will be preceded by the single The Backbone (released on 11 August 2014) - also available in a limited handmade edition (120 copies).
The Backbone was composed in January and recorded in February 2014. "We took a break from the album recordings, as we felt we needed new songs with a different feel from the ones we had already recorded. This song came through quite quickly. It changed quite a bit in the recording session and soon afterwards we felt this could be one of the strongest tracks on the album," explains Stefánsdóttir.
"Even though the song has quite a chilled vibe, the rockier bit was probably the sweatiest recording session of the entire album! We had to record that part many times - as it needed to be tight - and by the end everyone had taken most of their clothes off.. I think you can hear the half-naked vibe, if you listen closely," jokes Stefánsdóttir.
The lyrics to 'The Backone' are about the Reykjavík neighbourhood Stefánsdóttir grew up in, and how it changed over the years, just as she has changed."Things seem totally different as we grow and see them in new perspectives that make us realise how simple our view was. But the innocence of pure curiosity has also a beauty to it," she says.
When asked about the idea behind a handmade single, Stefánsdóttir explains: "We've always been a DIY band. We love making things ourselves. The very first thing we ever released was a 4-track EP that we recorded and crafted ourselves. We hadn't made any special items for a long time and we wanted to go straight back to where we started. The only difference now is, that the single is professionally recorded. Our drummer Bibbi is definitely the most artistic in the band. He is always making beautiful things, whether it's a lamp, a memo book or a painting. He made the covers from scratch, painted, cut and glued them. None of the covers are the same. They are all different and unique which makes them even more cool. They are made from huge abstract paintings that Bibbi then cut down and made into covers."
Jun 16, 2014
"Snakehips is a blissful endorphin-producing cut of electronica that hints at a bright future for the duo.'" - The Line Of Best Fit
“Snakehips takes their dark electronic vibes and shoots them into space... a deliciously sultry single." - Under the Radar
"Wonderfully impressive" - GoldFlakePaint
"Distinctive & Exotic" - NBHAP
On the heels of their acclaimed 'Disco To Die To', OOFJ re-emerge with the mysterious "Snakehips". An unforeseen critical success, reviews of their debut LP spoke of "dark Badalamenti" and "Polanski terror with opaque floating vocals" - OOFJ's latest still exists in this darker, Lynchian sphere but their new single also seems to suggest the light of day-glo escaping through the cracks. The swivel-hipped "Snakehips" conjures the groovy anxiety of rubbing up against a stranger and pretending to be a stranger to someone you know.
The duo met in New York while Jenno Bjørnkjær was working on music for Lars Von Trier's 'Melancholia'. OOFJ's distinctive, exotic sound is the perfect fusion of South African vocalist Katherine Mills-Rymer dark romanticism and Jenno's cool Danish precision - creating something simultaneously glamourous, nightmarish, and narcotic.
The song "Snakehips" was conceived on a hot, late afternoon where the couple resides in Highland Park in East LA overlooking the mountains. Katherine sporadically started singing about ‘snakehips', Jenno was perplexed to what it meant. She explained it as, "smooth, slim and how you feel drunk. She continues, "Also my grandpa always used to call me that, "hey snakehips," when I got dressed up for something, and looked a bit provocative…a bit perverse.’ Jens made the track, making a sound of complexity to bliss out to and make out to.
OOFJ's second album will be out in the fall, which promises to sound like romance, existential fright, fantasy and intellectual abandon over a boozy brunch.
Mar 19, 2014
“White Mountain” is the second track to be premiered from their upcoming album, due out later this year, and we’re proud to premiere it through a session we cut with them at last year’s Iceland Airwaves festival.
Produced by the Bedroom Community-associated Helgi Hrafn Jónsson, “White Mountain” began life as a piano ballad but, explains singer Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir, “we felt there was something greater lying underneath that deserved a more ambitious arrangement.”
“This is a special live version,” Stefánsdóttir explains, “…a little bit different from the album edition. My lyrics describe an epic but dangerous journey through the Icelandic highlands. It was actually inspired by Game of Thrones.”
You can wathc the video here.
Oct 25, 2013
With band members spending time between Tokyo, London and Reykjavík over the past three years, Icelandic pop ensemble Rökkurró have been meticulously expanding their luscious musical palette.
The success of Rökkurró’s previous studio effort Í Annan Heim (produced by Alex Somers of Jónsi fame) was largely unexpected. The album spent over 100 weeks in the Top-30 of the Icelandic charts, while gathering warm words from international media such as NME, Clash Magazine, KEXP Radio, The Line Of Best Fit and CMU Daily.
Three years on, Rökkurró are back in the studio, with a new record scheduled for early 2014. This time around, their partner in crime is the renowned multi-instrumentalist and producer Helgi Hrafn Jónsson. “His ideas are fresh and we liked the fact that he chooses the artists he works with very carefully. We found out very soon that we shared a common vision for this project and that is really important,” explains singer Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir.
The first sample of their common work comes in the form of ‘Killing Time’, a three-minute, stripped-down piece of music that talks about “a person who feels young, but their body is failing them and how getting old is a misleading thing,” said Stefánsdóttir. “Our new sound has a few obvious changes. We have added more electronic elements. I have taken a break from the cello and have replaced it with a synthesizer. We also have two new members, Helga (piano) and Skúli (bass).”
‘Killing Time’ is also the band’s first song in English. “We wanted to try it out. When I was living in Japan, I was basically only speaking English and Japanese. I think it’s challenging and has a different feel to it - compared to what we've done before. But rest assured, we will do stuff in Icelandic again. We are really excited to be finally releasing new music,” enthused Stefánsdóttir.
‘Killing Time’ can be purchased here.
Sep 30, 2013
Sep 16, 2013
The Callas will play Germany's prime showcase Reeperbahn Festival on 27 September.
The first track from their forthcoming album 'Am I Vertical?' has just been premiered on Brooklyn Vegan. The album was produced by Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) and will be released on 15 November on Inner Ear Records.
Sep 11, 2013
Last week saw Berlin Music Week take place for its fourth year, with 2500 delegates from across the music industry attending the WORD! Conference, and a further 5000 music fans joining them for the First We Take Berlin showcase festival. Checking in on the action and catching up with a few of the delegates and speakers was Vasilis Panagiotopoulos who wrote a report for CMU.
Apr 11, 2013
Now in its fifth year, the Tallinn Music Week festival and conference has been taking place annually in the Estonian capital since 2009. Having grown considerably in that time, this year’s speakers included former Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner and industry veteran Seymour Stein. Plus there were a whole host of live performances from artists both homegrown and from across Europe.
Vasilis Panagiotopoulos visited and spoke to some of the key figures from the event for CMU and wrote this report.
Jan 30, 2013
Baby Guru's recent shows at Europe's premiere music showcase Eurosonic Noorderslag received enthusiastic reviews by a number of international media. Here's a selection of press quotes:
"As if The Doors had babies with MGMT or Can .. they should make a lot of followers in the coming months." - Les Inrocks (FR)
"It's not every day that you get to hear a Greek band. And if you completely blow your socks, you can definitely call it a surprise." - Focus Knack (BE)
"Baby Guru's mixed drink is fresh and you would like to have more!" - Gaffa (SE)
"Great nervous psychedelic synths... we’re looking forward to the band’s forthcoming album!" - Indie Fuzz (NL/CA)
"Baby Guru are doing quite well! Their singer / keyboardist has a voice that can not be forgotten. " - Moustique (BE)
"A delectable cocktail!" - La Lible (BE)