The penultimate act on our roster for day one of KEXP’s Iceland Airwaves broadcast, live from KEX Hostel in Reykjavik is another fantastic Icelandic band, Valdimar. Both of Valdimar’s albums, Undraland (2010) and Um Stund (2012), have seen quite a lot of commercial success in their native Iceland, with “Yfirgefinn” becoming one of the country’s most-played songs in 2011. Though originally intended to be a solo act, Valdimar–founded in 2009 by Valdimar Guðmundsson and Ásgeir Aðalsteinsson–has since grown into a six-piece band, sometimes featuring an additional horn section. Valdimar’s songs are beautifully wrought, sweeping and dramatic, with the sound falling somewhere between indie-pop and indie-rock, with some folky and post rock influences as well.
Valdimar opened with “Um Stund,” a song that, while a little spacey, has a beautiful, full sound. The song is very evocative, and brings back the kind of warm, fuzzy feeling of a memory that you know is fond, but just can’t quite reach. Next was “Beðið eftir skömminni,” which had a bit of an atmospheric, post-rock feel.
Next was a brand-new untitled song featuring several firsts for Valdimar. This is the first time the song was performed live, the first time they’ve used an acoustic guitar in a performance, and the very first song they’ve performed in English. The song was fantastic, synth-heavy, and a little bit ominous, with a loud, soaring chorus.
“Yfirgefinn” and “Sýn,” the next two songs, both had a kind of upbeat, sunshiney feel, with dreamy, post-rock guitars. He ended his set with “Yfirgefinn,” (a single from Um Stund), a major crowd-pleaser, and a great way to round out this fantastic show.
Ending the day one broadcast is Borko, on at 20:00 GMT/1 PM PST. For more information about the KEXP broadcast from Airwaves, click here.