You’d be hard pressed to find a band that sounds just like Iceland’s Kælan Mikla, and that puts the ball in the post-punk outfit’s court from the get-go. On their 2018 effort Nótt eftir nótt they sound like in crafting their often melodic and catchy songs, the band members reached far outside the realms of conventional music in order to craft a path for the listener that’s all their own.
As the band’s Laufey Soffia explains: “We like to create a world for the listener — put them in a different place and mindset. So we have the opening and closing tracks more like soundscapes than songs. It puts the mood in the right place and makes so much difference for the emotional experience.”
It’s true — before launching into their memorable and driving experiential music, they cover the listener in a wave of sound with their newest album’s first track. They do the same once the end of the work rolls around, sending the listener out under the cover of sounds of the rain.
More than a gimmick or a garnish, the elements serve to highlight the ethereal and deeply affecting nature of the band’s work — no matter if you speak the language the lyrics are presented in or not.
Instead of traditional straightforward punk songs or anything else, the band draw from inspiration including their Icelandic background in crafting their finished work that rockets ahead of boundaries.
Additionally, driving the meaningful nature of their work home that much more fully, the band members have a definite personal, emotional stake in the project too.
“The album is partly an expression of homesickness which we have been feeling recently after a lot of touring and living abroad,” Soffia explains, adding: “It’s heavily inspired by Icelandic folklore and atmosphere. Its main theme is the night, secrets that lurk in the shadows, the witching hour and that strange place between dreams and reality.”
As a band, the members present themselves as personifying the character of “The Lady of the Cold,” Soffia explains. “We summon her as we play and tell tales of the secrets in the dark,” she adds.
These haunting and ultimately immersive elements to the band’s music translate into unique live performances.
“When we play live it’s as much concert as it is theater,” Soffia says. “Each performance is different, depending on the crowd, place and current mood. Everything can happen.”
From here, the band members plan to continue charging on with their unique musical message.
Soffia explains: “We aim to continue to broaden our horizons and continue to create. We are excited to play all over Europe in the coming year and promote Nótt eftir nótt.”
Image via Verði Ljós
Listen to the band below on Spotify