Reykjavík DIY post punk trio Kælan Mikla first appeared on our radar earlier this year when we began our series of seven Spotify playlists highlighting new music and shared ‘Lítil Dýr’. That track, which opened their delayed debut album Mánadans was a little deceptive to those of us new to the band. Recorded in DIY and lo-fi tradition between 2013-2015 and featuring a minimalist bent and vocalist Laufey Soffia’s appropriately applied angst ridden screams, its release was delayed to accommodate Fabrika’s release of their self titled second album and actually did not see the light of day until 2017 when self released on cassette in Iceland. It was then remastered and reissued on all formats including vinyl internationally in May this year on Canadian collective Storming The Base’s Artoffact Records, a full two years after the aforementioned second album’s release in 2016.
The Toronto based indie is once again the home to their new album Nótt Eftir Nótt (Night By Night), released last Friday and coalescing with Icelandic Airwaves. While it exudes the same deep textures of their debut, Nótt Eftir Nótt wraps that synth driven coldwave sound in an introspective and more dreamy (nightmarish?) aesthetic. That said, it’s still overwhelmingly characterised by thumping motorik like rhythms, Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrysdóttir’s thick wiry bass lines and Sólveig Matthildur-Kristjánsdóttir’s layered synths that range from the ominous to the almost celestial. Together they form a vivid canvas to Soffia’s dextrously powerful voice which thankfully she unashamedly and determinedly continues to deliver in Icelandic. And while the more high pitched screams are long gone, what remains vocal wise from those early years is no less dramatic. For examples, look no further than two of the album’s many highlights, ‘Andvaka’ (Sleepless) and the collaborative title track with fellow Icelandic artist Barði Jóhannsson’s surf rock turned melodic pop outfit Bang Gang.
Another highlight is the album’s pulsating centrepiece ‘Draumadis’. Listen to that below and grab a copy of Nótt Eftir Nótt on all formats here. Highly recommended.
NOTE: Kælan Mikla’s track ‘Nornalagið’ is currently in our just updated Post-Punk/ Motorik/ Kosmische/ Darkwave/ Coldwave/ Shoegaze & Post-Rock playlist on Spotify. Follow all that action here.
Tracklist – Nótt eftir nótt
1. Gandreið (Witch Ride)
2. Nornalagið (Witch Song)
3. Hvernig kemst ég upp? (How Do I Get Up)
4. Skuggadans (Shadow Dance)
6. Næturblóm (Night Flower)
7. Andvaka (Sleepless)
8. Nótt eftir nótt (Night By Night)
9. Dáið er allt án drauma (Death Is All Without Dreams)
Kælan Mikla (ISL)
From the album, ‘Nótt Eftir Nótt’, Artoffact Records.