Kaelan Mikla bring Icelandic synth-punk to The Current studio

Iceland band Kaelan Mikla perform the title track from their 2018 album, 'Nott Eftir Nott,' live in The Current studio. (Mary Mathis | MPR)
Kaelan Mikla - Full session + interview
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  • Kaelan Mikla - Full session + interview 17:35
  • Kaelan Mikla - Nott eftir nott 03:57
  • Kaelan Mikla - Naeturblom 04:04
  • Kaelan Mikla - Draumadis 03:41

Kælan Mikla's first performance as a band didn't take place at a typical music venue, but rather a poetry slam. Laufey Soffia (vocals), Sólveig Matthildur-Kristjánsdóttir (synthesizers) and Margret Rósa Dóru-Harrysdóttir (bass) may have thrown together the group for a poetry competition at their local library, but the trio quickly discovered their musical chemistry when to their surprise, they took home first place.

"It was all really new to us," said Dóru-Harrysdóttir. "We had never played instruments or done anything before. People were so excited about it, and then we won the competition, to our own surprise. People started to ask us, 'Hey, you're in a band, right? You have to make more music!' And we were like, 'Hm, maybe we should try it.'"

The Reykjavík-based band have released three albums, including the most recent Nótt eftir nótt. Tonight, Kælan Mikla are playing with fellow Reykjavík band Mammút at the Fine Line. The free concert is part of the "Taste of Iceland in Minneapolis" series of events in the Twin Cities celebrating Icelandic culture this weekend, from May 2-5. While in town, Kælan Mikla stopped by The Current studio to perform songs from Nótt eftir nótt and to chat with Mary Lucia.

Kælan Mikla performed three songs in the studio, including the title-track "Nótt eftir nótt," which translates to "Night after night." The band describe their sound as "synth-punk," and their music combines brooding, often trance-like synthesizer hooks with dynamic vocals that range from ethereal to biting.

The three musicians listened to a range of bands growing up, from the Strokes and the Libertines to the Sex Pistols and the Smiths — however, one band that they all share an affinity for is the Cure. In 2018, when Robert Smith curated London's Meltdown Festival, the Cure frontman asked Kælan Mikla to perform. Then in July, Kælan Mikla played at the Cure's 40th anniversary concert in Hyde Park.

Kælan Mikla say that they are planning a U.S. tour, but "can't really announce anything yet." Until then, the band will be performing at A Murder of Crows Festival in New York and Cold Waves Festival in Chicago.

More Video

Songs Performed

"Nótt Eftir nótt"
All songs from Kælan Mikla's 2018 album, Nótt Eftir nótt, available on Artoffact Records.

Hosted by Mary Lucia
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Adam Biel
Visuals by Mary Mathis
Web feature by Colleen Cowie

External Link

Kælan Mikla - Bandcamp

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  • Taste of Iceland provided a cool cultural exchange in the Twin Cities For the past two years, The Current has enjoyed sharing the experience of the Iceland Airwaves music festival. From May 2 to 5, The Current and Iceland Naturally collaborated to bring a the culture of Iceland to the Twin Cities. See photos and video from this first-of-its-kind cultural exchange.

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  • Kaelan Mikla studio session Mary Mathis
    Kaelan Mikla perform in The Current studio (Mary Mathis | MPR)
  • Kaelan Mikla studio session Mary Mathis
    Kaelan Mikla perform in The Current studio (Mary Mathis | MPR)

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