The enigmatic Icelanders of ÁRSTÍÐIR are pleased to announce that they have won the “Best Group” category for the song “Þar sem enginn fer” for the 17th annual IAMAs (International Acoustic Music Awards)! The song was also nominated in the Best Song in the AAA/Alternative category. A full list of winners can be found HERE.
ÁRSTÍÐIR comments on the win:
“We are extremely happy to announce that we’ve just won First Prize at the 17th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) ! This distinguished award, which promotes excellence in Acoustic Music Performance and Artistry, chose our song ‘Þar sem enginn fer’ as the winner in the category for Best Group.
“This is a huge honor for us, since for years we’ve been passionate about creating moving songs and intricate arrangements with the acoustic guitar as the focal point, and we felt pretty good about ourselves when we wrote and arranged ‘Þar sem enginn fer.’
“Receiving this award and this recognition from IAMA tells us that we’re on the right path and it will inspire us to keep picking away for many more years to come! We are super happy and deeply grateful!”
– Daniel, Gunnar & Ragnar
Last year, ÁRSTÍÐIR was also among the year’s most exceptional artists and releases honored by The 18th annual Independent Music Awards! The band’s single “Entangled” was awarded “Music Video of the Year” in the category for Best Narrative. The video can be seen HERE.
The band also scored the Independent Music Award for 2018’s ‘Nivalis’ in the Indie/Alt. Rock Album category! ‘Nivalis’ was released on June 22, 2018 via Season of Mist and can be streamed in full at THIS LOCATION. The album can be purchased HERE.
Moreover, the band has recently streamed their winter concert, which can be seen HERE.
For frequent updates on ÁRSTÍÐIR and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, subscribe HERE.
ÁRSTÍÐIR redefine their sound and take an evolutionary quantum leap that will catapult the eclectic Icelandic band from a highly praised phenomenon at the fringe straight to the centre of international attention. ÁRSTÍÐIR were never an ugly duckling, but now their musical swan has emerged in its full glorious beauty on ‘Nivalis’.
The Icelanders have never easily fit into any stylistic drawer and hence attracted a particular long list of attempts of a musical definition that ranges from indie rock via progressive rock, indie folk, chamber folk and pop, neo-classical to minimalism.
There is some truth in all these categories assigned to ÁRSTÍÐIR, but no single description entirely catches their overall sound entirely. Always something else is appearing that is adding and contradicting the first impression. Although everything said above about the band still remains true, new elements appear on ‘Nivalis’ that add up to a big change. One of these items can easily be identified as drums playing a much stronger role than it did on previous releases, which is a welcome side-effect of ÁRSTÍÐIR recently supporting label-mates SÓLSTAFIR on their extended European tour. Other changes are harder to specify, yet the Icelanders seem to have turned all those switches into the right direction – and not only due to a brilliant, crystalline, warm, and transparent production that perfectly brings together the dominant acoustic instruments with their electronic counterparts to evoke a fragile melancholy and embracing emotionality.
Those inevitable comparisons with fellow countrymen SIGUR RÓS will most likely not go away with ‘Nivalis’, although ÁRSTÍÐIR have clearly developed a style very much their own. Yet other parallels drawn about past references such as SIMON & GARFUNKEL or PENTANGLE are bound to make way to fresher and more recent names pointing way past the also previously mentioned RADIOHEAD.
ÁRSTÍÐIR emerged from the burgeoning Icelandic music scene in 2008, when the band’s three founding members discovered their mutual love for vocal harmonies despite coming from different genres. Daniel, Gunnar and Ragnar quickly went from playing acoustic cover versions to leaving their own sonic footprint by amalgamating influences taken from different styles into something quite unique, which might tentatively be dubbed “Icelandic independent”.
With early lyrical references pointing towards the spectacular nature and scenery of this volcanic island and the strongly contrasting moods of its seasons, the band took the name ÁRSTÍÐIR, which means “seasons” in Icelandic.
At home, the band experienced a fast rise. Only four months after its inception, ÁRSTÍÐIR had risen from performing in a coffee shop in Reykjavik to scoring a number one hit on national radio with the track “Sunday Morning”.
The Icelanders published their self-titled debut, ‘Árstíðir’ in summer 2009, and while their home country was reeling from the market crash, the band’s stocks went up. During the air traffic disrupting eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, ÁRSTÍÐIR embarked on their first international tour. Over the next years, the band stayed continuously on the road and gathered a dedicated fan base in more than 30 countries.
Their second album, ‘Svefns Og Vöku Skil’ followed in 2011 and, only a year later, the Icelanders won the prestigious Eiserner Eversteiner European Folk Music Award in Germany. While on the road in Germany in 2013, a friend of ÁRSTÍÐIR recorded an impromptu performance of the old Icelandic hymn, “Heyr Himna Smiður” in a train station, which went viral on YouTube and has attracted more than 6 million views to date. Backed by the interest sparked by this global hit, ÁRSTÍÐIR continued their head-lining tours and furthermore supported Swedish band PAIN OF SALVATION and Dutch vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen.
ÁRSTÍÐIR launched a highly successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014 to finance the recording of their third full-length ‘Hvel’, which translates as “spheres”. Following the release, the band embarked on a first US tour that reached from coast to coast. A full collaboration with Anneke van Giersbergen followed in 2016. The ‘Verloren Verleden’ album contains a collection of re-imagined traditional and classical songs.
Now the Icelanders return with their fourth album. ‘Nivalis’ offers everything that followers of ÁRSTÍÐIR love, but with this stunning masterpiece the band transcends all limitations created by genre to appeal to any friend of great music!
Daniel Auðunsson: guitar, vocals
Gunnar Már Jakobsson: baritone guitar, vocals
Ragnar Ólafsson: keyboards, vocals