KEXP at Iceland Airwaves, Day 3: Sin Fang

photos by Jim Bennett

It’s always sad to end a live broadcast, especially one as special as this year’s broadcast from during Iceland Airwaves, but what a great way to end — with Iceland pop wunderkind Sin Fang. You might recognize him as Sindri, the man behind Seabear. But Seabear is a pretty fluid band, and most of the other members have done their own thing from time to time. Sindri has been on and around the scene in Iceland as Sin Fang since 2010, mixing bright sounds and colors in with dark, earthier tones of the Icelandic backwoods. For example, his single “Only Eyes” is upbeat and enticing, with the video mixing erratic colors, drawings, and projections. But with others, Sin Fang tones his palette down to a matte blend of folk-tinged singer/songwriter moods. The mixture therein makes his music endless in character and keeps every new listen fresh.

KEX Hostel was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it. Festival-goers, all dolled up in their Friday night best, came out in droves for our final broadcast as the winds finally died down. Opened with the very catchy “Always Everything.” The song features more contemporary pop beats at first, but then shifts into folk-rock. It closes out with a delightful combination of the two–building up to a joyous, cacophonous climax. “Clangour and Flutes,” a single from Sin Fang’s first record (then playing under the moniker “Sin Fang Bous”). Hand claps are prominent for this tune, ans Sindri’s soft, folky vocals burst out and soar up in harmony. A few folks were even singing along!

Next was a new song, which sounded a little more rock and roll, building to soaring, reverbey vocals. This was followed by a tune that begins with melancholy piano and quiet vocals, and then explodes into a synth-ey song with super funky bass and almost jazzy undertones. Sin Fang finished with “Sunbeam,” another song with a lovely, sunny garage rock feel mixed with Icelandic folk-rock.

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