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Reykjavik Music Mess

Preview: Reykjavik Music Mess Festival

This weekend sees the return of Reykjavik Music Mess, an annual festival of new music held in the Icelandic capital.

The delightfully monikered event is spread across two venues in central Reykjavik, and features artists from Iceland and beyond. This year Liverpudlian flautist Laura J Martin, Mancunian singer-songwriter Man Made, and Finnish psych duo Jarse will join a host of artists plucked from Iceland’s burgeoning underground.

The clutch of Icelandic artists on show at the Music Mess demonstrates the breadth of talent currently at work in the newly revitalised Nordic country, with exciting new prospects from the worlds of folk, psychedelia, punk, and beyond. Of these a handful may already be familiar. Úlfur, whose beautifully produced instrumentals are pieced together from vocal samples, synthesisers, and field recordings, is a member of Jónsi’s touring band, while hushed folk outfit Cheek Mountain Thief features members of Full Time Hobby mainstays Tunng.

Elsewhere on the programme Snorri Helgason’s beautifully arranged folk songs are reminiscent of a less bombastic, more male Feist. Meanwhile 20-strong ensemble Útidúr make charming, bittersweet boy-meets-girl acoustic pop in the same vein as fellow countrymen Hjaltalín.

The Music Mess runs from Thursday to Sunday, with artists performing at Faktory Bar and the near-legendary Kex Hostel. Look out for a review in the magazine soon.

Josh Hall

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