Live Video: Sóley at KEX Hostel

photo by Jim Bennett (view more photos)

We first heard Sóley perform a year ago at Gym and Tonic, the back room at KEX Hostel in Reykjavik during Iceland Airwaves ’11. We were intrigued by her at then recently released debut LP, We Sink, but hadn’t had time yet to really dig into it. We figured, let’s record a few songs with her and see how it goes. The session itself was jaw dropping, but more importantly listeners and YouTube viewers ate it up… to the point at which her performance of “I’ll Drown” gained half a million views! It’s easy to see how everyone was smitten immediately by Sóley Stefánsdóttir. With her too-big glasses, quirky attire — which verges on schoolmarm kitsch if it weren’t so darn cute — and a disarmingly self-aware public awkwardness, you almost forget how dark, rich and emotive her music is… that is, until she starts to loop, play and sing. And then you’re hooked. The sometime keyboard player for Sin Fang and Seabear has done well enough on her own, having already charmed the pants off her fellow Icelanders, who rated her debut as one of the best albums of 2011, and now landing as the current U.S. tour opener for the wildly popular Of Monsters and Men. We sure as hell weren’t going to miss an opportunity to get her live on air this time around. In fact, she was among the very first artists we booked for this year’s broadcast at Airwaves and the first to perform of the 15 we hosted at KEX Hostel. With her usual drummer, Jón Óskar Jónsson, and the more recently added guitarist Albert Finnbogason (also of The Heavy Experience), Sóley performed three beautiful songs from her album and added a brand new song, still a work in progress… a “horrrrror story” called “Wedding.” Check out photos from the session here and watch the videos below:

Full performance:

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