The Singular Sounds of Iceland

Exclusive musical performances will enrich your travel experience. 

Volcanoes aren’t the only things that have been exploding in Iceland recently: this remote country is home to one of the world’s hottest music scenes. With a population of just over 300,000 people, Iceland has had an outsized influence on global music, with many artists and bands making seismic waves on international charts and concert stages over the past decade. While Icelandic musicians are influenced by rock, pop, electronica, jazz and other foreign genres, a growing number of Icelandic artists have sought inspiration from Icelandic traditions, language and even from the country’s unique climate, landscape and geology. As the world’s fascination with Iceland has grown, Iceland’s reputation as a musical hotspot has also played a part in the country's tourism boom. Travelers on Lindblad’s 2019 Iceland itineraries will have a chance to hear some of the musicians that are leading Iceland’s musical eruption. Our ethnomusicologist, Jacob Edgar, has invited the following renowned Icelandic musicians to perform for our guests throughout the summer, and each Iceland itinerary will feature performances by at least two artists from our specially curated lineup.

 

Experience the music on our Circumnavigation of Iceland departures in 2019 and 2020.

 

Below, read the biographies of some of the world-class musicians who will be joining us in 2019, or click the play button on this playlist to hear what they do best: 

 

Ylja was formed in 2008 by guitarists/singers Gígja Skjaldardóttir and Bjartey Sveinsdóttir in Reykjavík, Iceland. With a common passion for vocal harmonies and love for the acoustic guitar, the two friends embarked on a musical journey – always trying to expand and broaden their sense for creativity. Ylja was nominated for an Icelandic Music Award as the best newcomer in 2013. Ylja will perform haunting and moving melodies in the Icelandic language that blend ancient influences with modern inspirations.

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Myrra Rós is a Reykjavík-based singer/songwriter. Her music drifts from dreamy lo-fi folk pop to up-tempo pop with layered vocal harmonies. Her enthralling live performances, led by her ethereal and exquisite voice, have delighted audiences across Europe. She released her first album Kveldúlfur in 2012 and her second album One Amongst Others in 2015.

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Svavar Knútur is one of Iceland's most beloved singer-songwriters. A troubadour of humble beginnings and rural upbringing, Svavar Knútur's music tells stories of love, tragedies, sadness and redemption in a harsh and hostile climate. His songs and vocal delivery always seem to strike a chord with his audiences, along with his decadently charming on stage persona, his concerts at times comprised of stories within stories within songs within songs. 

 

Árstíðir is a classically influenced indie-folk rock/chamber pop band. Árstíðir got off to a dream start in 2008 with two number one hits on Icelandic National Radio. Through the years the band has toured over 30 countries. A video of the band doing an impromtu a capella performance of the Icelandic hymn “Heyr himna smiður” in a German train station wowed the world after going viral with over 6 million views to date. Critics have described their music as “beautiful and atmospheric” that will, “send you on an amazing journey from which you return astonished and grateful.”

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Hailing from a valley in the North of Iceland, Ösp Eldjárn makes music that reflects the folk songs of her native country and absorbs the artistry of contemporary songwriting. She carries with her a fine Icelandic tradition of soaring melody-led songs of glacial beauty and striking emotional power. Inspired by the vocals of Ella Fitzgerald, the stories of Joni Mitchell and by her own Nordic folk roots, she began to write her own songs and has recently been performing in various music venues and festivals in the UK and Iceland.

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