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UKNY for November 3: Iceland Airwaves

Seabear (photo courtesy of Morr Music, PR)

Seabear (photo courtesy of Morr Music, PR)

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Iceland Airwaves, one of the most unusual and adventurous global festivals, begins this Wednesday, November 6 and continues through Saturday, November 9. I've had the good fortune to attend the last two Iceland Airwaves and the absolute thrill of discovery is your guide through the clubs and performance spaces of Reykjavík.

While there are always more established names on the lineup, the festival's mission exuberantly leans towards emerging artists and significantly, the necessity for gender parity: Iceland Airwaves is part of the Keychange initiative, asking that music festival lineups book female and male artists equally. In 2018, Iceland Airwaves was the first festival to achieve that goal and the event's organizers have done it again this year.

Of course there are local Icelandic musicians everywhere — and tonight's UKNY at 11 features an FUV Live session in the second half of the show with one of those bands, the post-modern rockers Sólstafir whose roots are in metal and hard rock, but they stray towards an atmospheric majesty in their music.

The first half of the show is a 2019 Iceland Airwaves preview of acts that I wish I could see this year: like Iceland's Una Stef & the SP74, Hugar, JFDR, and the reunited Seabear, back with new music after nine years. There's Montréal's rambunctious Pottery, the percussive activist pop of L.A.'s Madame Gandhi, and York's fast-rising The Howl & the Hum too — and much more.

That's UKNY tonight from 11 p.m. - midnight, EST (did you change your clocks?), streaming online and also available on demand in the Weekend Archives.

Songs played:

1. (Reykjavík, IS) Seabear, “Waterphone,” single
2. (Gjøvik, NO) Anna of the North, “Leaning on Myself,” Dream Girl
3. (Reykjavík, IS) Una Stef & the SP74, “Like Home,” single
4. (Montréal, CA) Pottery, “Spell,” No. 1 EP
5. (Boston/Los Angeles, US) Madame Gandhi, “Top Knot Turn Up,” Visions EP
6. (York, UK) The Howl & the Hum, “Human Contact,” single
7. (Reykjavík, IS) JFDR, “Taking a Part of Me,” single
8. (Cardiff, UK) Boy Azooga, “Breakfast Epiphany,” 1,2 Kung Fu!
9. (London, UK) Murkage Dave, “Same Old Spot,” Murkage Dave Changed My Life
10. (Iceland) Hugar, “Fold,” Varða
11. FUV Live session with the Reykjavík band Sólastafir, includes a live performance of “Hula” from Berdreymin.