In November, I went to the Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavík for a week to play some gigs (with my band, Moonbow), meet some wonderful people, see other amazing bands, and explore some nature on my days off.
This is LA Priest, who makes awesome experimental funk jams. His set involved recording the audience, then improvising with the samples to make mind-bending songs.
LA Priest on stage.
My friend Rakel’s band Dream Wife was also playing Airwaves, and we stayed in her grandma’s beautiful apartment. I took this photo the evening we arrived, as the light came through the curtains.
Me by a beautiful house I spotted on the walk from the apartment into the center of town.
Kristin Anna was one of the people I was most excited about seeing perform at Airwaves. She played in the most magnificent church. Everyone sat wide-eyed in silence as she spellbound us in a sparkly dress and bare feet, playing the most poetic piano compositions beneath birdsong vocals.
My friend Alice is in the band Dream Wife, and she is one of the best guitarists I know. Here she is being badass during a set at Loft Hostel, which was packed with hundreds of people and good energy.
Reykjavíkurdætur, which translates to “Reykjavík’s daughters,” is a rap troupe from Iceland. Someone told me that they host group sessions every week where anyone can come, talk about feminism, and join their crew.
On our day off, we went exploring along the south coast of Iceland with my friends Alex and Montse. This is Alex by a glacier lake surrounded by volcanic ash.
Montse by the glacier.
Montse at Skógafoss.
Taking a quick break from driving.
This is Bianca Casady being dreamy backstage before her Airwaves set. For years I have admired the magical world she creates with her music and visual art.
Braids blew me away. Raphael’s vocals make some of the most powerful sounds I’ve ever heard live.
I spent most of last year playing the same song by Hundred Waters over and over. It was pretty magical to finally see them perform their complex, atmospheric pop in person.
Beach House made my soul tear in two with their goosebumps-inducing shoegaze dream-pop.
On our last day, Alex, Montse, and I hitchhiked to a wild hot spring river we had heard about. We’d spent the morning in the rain, getting on several wrong buses around the suburbs of Reykjavík and nearly giving up on our failing quest….before the kindest family saved us, gave us a lift, and then drove us back to Reykjavík again two hours later. Because of our rocky start and our bad map-reading skills, we got to the river just as the sun was setting. There was no time to swim, but we felt blessed to have seen the beauty of the wild springs nonetheless.
Alex by the hot spring river.
Me with some Icelandic horses.