Reykjavik-based Rökkurró just had a super successful time at Iceland Airwaves, playing tracks from the new album Innra. Next on the agenda is Eurosonic in January, when the band members will travel to Groningen to wow the crowds with their textured sound.
The new album – which was released on 27 October (on 12 Tónar in Iceland and also on Rökkurró Music) – is the third release for the six-piece (clockwise from top left in the photo): Björn, Helga, Skúli, Árni, Hildur and Axel.
Of the self-releasing aspect, Árni Þór Árnason (guitarist) comments: “Rökkurró Music is a label we started around the release of this record. When we made our last album, we always hoped it would be picked up by a label outside Iceland and pitched it to a bunch of the, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. So this time around, we decided not to wait until a label got interested and instead release it ourselves outside Iceland.”
Produced by the Bedroom Community-associated Helgi Hrafn Jónsson, Innra has a textured, layered sound and a lush, orchestral beauty – with added electronic elements leading to an expanded musical palette for this album. All this forms the perfect backdrop for the amazing vocals of Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir.
Take a walk on the inside
The album’s title is Icelandic for ‘inner’ or ‘on the inside’ and it is the band’s first record where the majority of the tracks are sung in English. Comments front woman Hildur, ‘Up until now, all of our albums have been in Icelandic, which we felt suited the music we were making. We saw writing lyrics in English as a challenge and an open door for something new. It actually felt easier to write more honestly in English. I wasn’t focusing as much on the poetic aspect rather than on my feelings and what I wanted to express.’
With real-life references inspiring the songs, it is said the album is more personal than those gone before. Hildur explains about one track in particular, White Mountain (recorded at last year’s Airwaves festival for The Line of Best Fit), ‘This is a special live version, a little bit different to the album edition. My lyrics describe an epic but dangerous journey through the Icelandic highlands. It was actually inspired by Game of Thrones.’
Innra – Released 27 October 2014:
4. Killing Time
5. The Backbone
6. White Mountain
7. The In Between
9. Blue Skies
11. Red Sun
Album available via Rökkurró Music