I realize that because of winter’s death grip we are still living in a land of ice and are so over it we collectively can’t stand it. I get that. But consider this: a night of free music from the actual Iceland. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Reykjavik Calling!
The next wave of Icelandic music is breaking on the shores of Portland with Sin Fang, Retro Stefson and Hermigervill.
Sin Fang is a project by Sindri Mar Sigfusson, who is heralded in his homeland for lo-fi layered lushness. One listen to his tune “Look at the Light” made me a believer. The song is dreamy and has many sounds folded into it: synths, piano, drums, horns and an array of other stuff I couldn’t quite identify but my ears quite enjoyed. His vocals are calm and clear, reminiscent of the chap from The Shins, and are another layer to the tapestry of his music.
“Because of the Blood” was another four minutes of aural gratification and I found myself wanting to hear more and more.
Then there’s Retro Stefson. Their latest album has gone platinum in Iceland and their mantel floweth over with a slew of Icelandic music awards. Their sound criss-crosses into soul, dance, pop and well beyond. Head to YouTube to listen to and watch the clip for “Kimba” and try not to bounce around the room.
Lastly, there’s the electronica of Hermigervill, complete with theremin awesomeness. Reykjavik producer and DJ Pedro Pilatus will be bookending the evening. Three bands and a DJ with Icelandic hotdogs. All for free.
Although it’s been a dream for many years to travel to Iceland, for now I will find solace and musical satisfaction when Iceland comes here.
Reykjavik Calling with Sin Fang, Retro Stefson and Hermigervill. 8:30 p.m. Friday. Space. 538 Congress St., Portland. Free; 18-plus; space538.org
THE FIRST TIME I heard Monique Barrett was several years ago at the long gone but never forgotten North Star Cafe in Portland. I knew the day would come when she’d record and release some music and that day has finally come. Barrett’s EP is called “Steps” and the celebration is on Sunday night in Portland.
When I put a new CD on and the first thing I hear is a cello, I’m already swooning before a single note is sung. Such was the case with “For the Best,” courtesy of Robin Jellis. The song aches with heartache. “Well I can wrap my head around it, but my heart is not quite there yet,” sings Barrett with a downright lovely voice that pulls you and doesn’t let go until the last note of the final song, “Make It Better.”
Barrett isn’t the only reason, however, to catch this show. The Furry Ambers are also celebrating the release of a CD, “Turn Around the Tide,” and they’ll be opening the show. Furry Ambers is local musicians Dylan Cook, Paulina Klimek-Cornett, Paul Sandberg and Dan Woodman.
The band is part of Listen Up! Music, a nonprofit day program of Creative Trails that supports adult musicians with intellectual uniqueness in making music. Seventy-five percent of the sales of their album will go to the musicians and the rest goes into the program. “Turn Around the Tide” is a wonderful CD and I have tremendous respect for the accomplishment of these four musicians.
Monique Barrett and The Furry Ambers. 8 p.m. Sunday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $10; onelongfellowsquare.com
Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455or at: