Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Finally, KEXP has been invited to broadcast live from Iceland, so this week we are featuring songs from bands performing during our first international broadcast from KEX Hostel in Reykjavik during the 2011 Iceland Airwaves festival (more info here). Today’s featured song is “Brostinn Strengur” by Lay Low from the forthcoming album, Brostinn Stengur, on COD Records.
Icelandic alt-country singer songwriter Lovisa Elisabet Sigrunadottir creates a beautiful and haunting tune in today’s song. Unless you speak Icelandic, the lyrics are totally foreign to most ears -- yet seem to resonate perfectly with the music and seem perfectly understandable. Her style is no doubt influenced by classic American country artists like Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn, but in “Bronstinn Strengur” (meaning “broken string”), she seems to depart the bubbly twang of being “Iceland’s Patsy Cline” with something slightly darker and introspective.
London born and Reykjavik raised, Lay Low took to music at an early age and performed with several local acts in her teens playing bass and guitar. She took on keyboard and vocals when she joined the experimental rock band Benny Crespo’s Gang. In early 2006, she recorded and released her debut album, Please Don’t Hate Me. It was the bestselling original album in Iceland that year. She kept working and continuing the success of the album by later recording covers of two well known Icelandic songs for a local film, and directed the music for the play How I learned to Drive.
Lay Low has been busy since 2006, and the past year and a half has been full of touring, both in support of well known acts and headlining her own from Reykjavik to Seattle. So far, she is slated to stick around Iceland, but be sure to check in on her website for updates on her whereabouts.
Lay Low will be performing live on KEXP today during our broadcast from Iceland Airwaves. Tune in at 11:30AM PST.
Last year, she participated in the Reykjavik Calling showcase it the Crocodile in Seattle and stopped by KEXP earlier that day to perform this song: