I Know You Know (Playlist: July 9, 2017)

I Know You Know

Created by Erica Andreozzi

NEW PLAYLIST inspired by my recent visit to Iceland, a country that, like Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, stole my heart the first time around. I could not agree more with his speech at Secret Solstice Festival last month:

“We’ve never played here, let’s go here (Iceland). And our first day that we spent here, and I’m not kidding, you can ask an of my friends or my family, that this country became my f*cking favorite place on earth. And you might think it’s stupid and kind of silly, but that time, 2003, whenever it was, I bought this f*cking necklace, and I’ve never taken it off… for 14 years. Because, I think that your country is a perfect example for the rest of the world. I really do. I think that you’re strong, and you’re independent, and you’re smart, and you take care of each other, and you respect nature, and you respect each other. So, someday, if I ever wanna move somewhere else, I hope that you’ll have me and my family here in Iceland. I love it so much.” ❤ 

It was Asgeir‘s 2013 debut album, Dýrð í dauðaþögn (the biggest selling debut album in Icelandic history), that was my initial hook into Icelandic music and culture, and I listened to non-stop during my first ever trip to Iceland back in March 2014 (and so it forever holds a special place in my heart). I was so moved by his live performances at Bush Hall in London and Iceland Airwaves Music Festival that I decided to write a pretty detailed review: https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/asgeir-i-lift-my-mind-to-the-sky-and-i-let-it-take-flight-the-wind-carries-to-my-ears-precious-sounds-of-life/. We all were anxiously awaiting his next album, and when Afterglow was released May of this year (with ‘I Know You Know‘  being one of my favorite tracks), you better believe there were plenty of smiles beaming around the world. AND, as if releasing a new album and touring around Europe & Australia didn’t tire him out enough, Asgeir decided keep the world smiling with his fascinating feat of playing requests (including covers of Milky Chance, Adele, Abba, Nirvana, etc) for 24hr non-stop and recording them straight to vinyl. SUCH a freaking cool, creative way to engage fans on a personal level and cultivate a more interactive music community. I am amazed by his generosity and unique vision, and I can’t wait to see him again at Iceland Airwaves in Nov. Another Icelandic artist that I look forward to seeing at Airwaves is Rythmatik, a super talented indie-rock band that I was lucky enough to discover (and meet!) at Secret Solstice this year. They recently won the The Icelandic Music Experiments (Músikltilraunir) “Battle of the Bands” and moved to Reykjavik from Suðureyri & Akureyri in order to hone their craft and play more live shows. Oh and, they are super fun and awesome to hang out with (always a plus!) 😀

This playlist was also inspired by performances at Secret Solstice (Kiriyama Family, Amabadama, Rhye), Bottlerock Napa (Day Wave, Dreamers, Parade of Lights, City of the Sun, Run River North, Bad Suns), the San Francisco Oyster Fest (Sir Sly, Passion Pit, Kongos, Panic is Perfect, The Soft Whites Sixties). There was additional influence from recent track/album releases by The National (BEEN WAITING WITH BAITED BREATH and SO STOKED to be seeing them Oct 14!), London Grammar (“My only hope is to let life stretch out before me and break me on this lonely road”– so good), Haim (seeing them Sept 7!), Manchester Orchestra (Sept 16!), Broken Social Scene (seeing them Oct 26!), Lucy Rose (accompanied by a short documentary of her fan-led trip to Latin America last year), Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Zach Winters, Jade Bird, Nothing But Thieves,  Public Service Broadcasting, Lanterns on the Lake, and Ben Sollee. Finally, I was happy to include tracks by some new discoveries: OUTLYA, Overcoats (LOVE!), Isaac Gracie, Henry Jamison, Klangstof, and Ella Vos.

Check out my fb music page (https://www.facebook.com/Beatsthatsetmypulse/) and YouTube page (http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz) for more pics and videos!

 

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beatsthatsetmypulse/

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse

Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

Asgeir: “I lift my mind to the sky, and I let it take flight…The wind carries to my ears, precious sounds of life”

Asgeir– Bush Hall (December 11, 2013)

Meet Asgeir, a new, up-and-coming Icelandic musician who’s debut album sold more copies in Iceland than that of Bjork and Sigur Ros (apparently 1 out of 10 Icelanders own his album), and I CAN DEFINITELY TELL WHY. Let’s just say..umm… SPELL-BINDING?…Ethereal folk layered with beautiful harmonies (almost falsetto sounding), warm electronica, and adroit guitar picking. His delicate, falsetto voice reminds me a bit of Justin Veron, and the band’s sound overall is similar to both Bon Iver and Volcano Choir. It was such a treat to hear some of the tracks sung in Icelandic, for which they were originally written and only later translated by John Grant (another great artist) in English to reach more people. My first encounter with the Icelandic language WAS through Asgeir, and I have so much more of an appreciation for this beautiful language because of his music. And to think that they also kicked off their December show at Bush Hall in London with some Icelandic Christmas carols. (Merry xmas to you). I just wish they didn’t have the entire show in the dark! See videos/pics from that show below.

Fortunately I was also able to catch Asgeir again in the spring when they played at the lovely Union Chapel in Islington. Head In the Snow has always been one of my favorites, so me eyes IMMEDIATELY LIT UP when they kicked off their set with this gem. I distinctly remember listening to this one on the bus ride from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik, and suddenly my mind became flooded with flashbacks from that magical place. I am whisked away to stunning landscapes of giant glaciers and mighty waterfalls that breathe life into the tree-less mountainside. “Hope and faith, Don’t you fail me now…Hope and faith, Come and warm my heart…Hope and faith, Fill me up with strength.” (It’s not uncommon that I daydream at least ONCE when listening to their album)..Next up was In the Silence, another favorite for which I first heard in Icelandic at their Bush Hall gig. It was such a treat to see how a song that you ALREAD THOUGHT BEAUTIFUL could capture even more beauty when sung in a different language (especially one as lovely as Icelandic!): “Come, take my hand, Let’s undo the knots of the past…Watch the mind run far away…and everything that will be and was here and now.”

Asgeir then took us on a detour to dark waters, playing a new song called The Ocean (see video below).

From the ocean to the sky, he soon takes us higher and higher into another dimension with the beautiful soft electronica and gentle vocals of Higher: 

“I lift my mind to the sky, and I let it take flight
The wind carries to my ears, precious sounds of life…
Higher HIGHER…I must go…
Higher HIGHER…Far away….    
And the glare of this world is more than humbled…”

After taking flight with Higher and HigherAsgeir brought us home with Going Home. Of all this songs on the album, this is the one that changed most drastically from its initial release, and I really enjoyed witnessing the evolution. “Home, I’m making my way home….My mind’s already there.” (last phrase always slays me)…Summer Guest was to follow, and the last line of this song SLAYS ME even harder: “You made a shelter for my soul if your language I could speak..I would weave a song for you of my own.”

Asgeir then surprises us all with a tribute to Kurt Cobain on the week of his death anniversary (can’t believe it’s been 20 years), performing a heart-wrenching over of Nirvana‘s Heart-Shaped Box:

“She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
I’ve been drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black..”

I’m pretty sure every inch of my body was covered in goosebumps. Kurt was def smiling that night. x

A few tracks later came Asgeir’s notable King and Cross, a beautiful song laced with catchy beats and cool keyboard/synth elements. This lyrics always speak to me: “Death cannot take hold, if I can keep momentum…I’ve found my strength now.” LOVE. Then came Torrent, my FAVORITE on the album (although it’s very hard to choose). When I first heart this track, it kinda reminded me of a Christmas carol, and its uplifting aura gets more and more intense every time I listen. So many magical sounds weaved into this musical masterpiece, especially the percussion (and the drummer’s intensity is hilarious to watch). No wonder they saved it for the encore! (Also, you MUST out the original version in Icelandic: Nýfallið Regn.STUUUUUUNING.)

Ásgeir‘s solo encore of One That Day was one of my highlights of the night. It’s the only song he played by himself, showcasing the pure, organic, spiritual quality to his voice (as his range hits the upper echelons in flawlessly fluctuating falsetto). He was clearly in his element, and you couldn’t help be whisked away to a mystical place (maybe the glacier lagoons of Iceland) and drowned in the fluid sound of his atmospheric, folk-laced tempos. And to be heard in a high-ceiling Gothic church with subtle lighting?…Dying.

“Just one look at you
and then I knew
On that day…
Serendipity smiled down on me.”

I am so glad I discovered the ICELANDIC PROPHET that is Asgeir when I did (back in December) because is HUGE now and has globe-trotted all over the world, covering lot of ground and hitting big festivals in the states and in Europe. His music has been the musical medicine for my soul, and I can’t stop dreaming of my future adventures in Iceland when I GET BACK THERE in November for ICELAND AIRWAVES. So stoked to see him again, along with other Icelandic artists (Low Roar, Lay Low, Samaris, Mammut, SOLSTAFIR, Low Roar), and to explore his magical land with one of my best friends from California! I would have moved to Iceland in a heartbeat if they had work for me there. It’s UNREAL in so many ways, and EVERYONE needs to travel there (and soak up the local music) at least ONCE in their lifetime. Check out the documentary video that my friend Marissa (super-talented) made from our trip there back in March. SO looking forward to ROUND 2 of this trip in the next few months! ❤

(Setlists for both gigs are post below. I made sure I was lucky enough to be in front both times.)

Asgeir– Union Chapel (April 8, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Going Home:

The Ocean:

Heart-Shaped Box:

Torrent:

On That Day:

PICTURES:

IMG_7238IMG_7239IMG_7248IMG_7252

 

Asgeir– Bush Hall (December 11, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Torrent:

King and Cross:

Head in the Snow (Icelandic version):

In the Silence:

Higher:

On the Day:

PICTURES:

 IMG_4619IMG_4620IMG_4623IMG_4626IMG_4628IMG_4634IMG_4635IMG_4637IMG_4646