Músíktilraunir, the Icelandic battle of the bands contest, has had its four nights of preliminary showdowns. We’ve compiled a list of the acts which made the cut and will be competing for the win on Saturday, April 6th.
Músíktilraunir or “Music experiments” as the competition’s name directly translates to, has been a yearly event since 1982, with the exception of 1984. Former victors such as Mammút, Of Monsters and Men and Between Mountains have gone on to national and international success.
See also: Of Monsters and Men | A Melodic Odyssey
Músíktilraunir is an excellent opportunity for young musicians in Iceland to get their start in the industry. Last year’s winners Ateria are a band made up of two sisters and their cousin, the girls were seventeen, fifteen and twelve when they won the competition.
This year there were thirty-five hopeful acts, and the following are the ones who made it through to the final on Saturday. On each of the nights, one band is chosen by a panel of judges and one by the audience.
There are also three bands which weren’t chosen on their respective nights who nonetheless stood out to the judges and have been given a shot at redemption on the final night. This takes the number of bands competing in the final to eleven. The final night will for sure be dialled up to eleven!
See also: The Ultimate Icelandic Playlist
The two bands from the first night who made it to the final are Caravan Kids and Flammeus.
The audience’s choice on the first night is a newly founded band from the town of Garðabær. The five 18 to 21-year-olds formed the group to play at a wedding and got along so well that they signed up for the battle of the bands together.
Flammeus is the pseudonym of Tumi Hrannar Pálmason, a musician who has a band of three other twenty-somethings from Akureyri backing him up. They were the judges’ choice on the first night. Flammeus’ first album is set to be released this spring.
The bands from the second night who made it to the final are Blóðmör and gugusar.
On night two the audience chose a group of teenage boys with long hair. Blóðmör are a three-piece band from Kópavogur. They have the classic guitar, bass and drums setup and play punky rock music.
The act chosen by the judges on the second night is the fifteen-year-old Guðlaug Sóley Höskuldsdóttir who sings and plays the keyboard. She goes by the name gugusar, and her music is alternative electro-pop. She is joined on stage by fellow fifteen-year-old Aníta Núr Magnúsdóttir who plays drums.
The bands from the third night who made it to the final are Konfekt and Eilíf Sjálfsfróun.
These three boys from Mosfellsbær say they had to start a punk band because they thought of the perfect name. The name means ‘Eternal Masturbation,’ which really sets a tone for their music. The audience chose them on the third night.
The judges choice for night three have a much sweeter name Konfekt means ‘Confectionary’ and their music is as sweet as the name. The band is made up of three twenty-year-old girls from Seltjarnarnes.
The acts from the fourth night who made it to the final are Karma Brigade and Ásta.
The fourth night’s audience choice is a band made up of six 16 and 17-year-olds from Reykjavík and Garðabær. Despite being young, they have played together for two years, and they’ve even gone to Denmark and Germany to play.
The judges’ choice on the fourth night was Ásta Kristín Pétursdóttir. She’s a 23-year-old singer and viola player who recently started playing the guitar.
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The judges gave the following bands, who weren’t chosen on their preliminary nights, a chance to play in the final.
22-year-old singer and guitar player Arnaldur Ingi Jónsson goes by the alias Dread Lightly. He competed on the last night and will return to the stage this Saturday.
These four 18 and 19-year-olds competed on the second night and now get a second chance. Two of Parasol’s members started the band as a Mac Demarco tribute band. The full four-person band was put together two weeks before applying to the battle of the bands.
Four 16 and 19-year-old boys from the Westman Islands started a band at karate practice. In December 2018 they released an album called Apocalypse Rising. They competed on the third night and on Saturday they’ll be playing in the final of Músíktilraunir.