Seattle and Neumos Answer Reykjavik Calling for the Third Time
Friday night Neumos was comfortably crowded and a little humid from the rain as Iceland Naturally and KEXP hosted the third annual Reykjavik Calling–a showcase of musical collaboration between our cloudy and gray sister cities to close out this year’s Taste of Iceland in Seattle.
For the last two years, Seattle bands were paired with Reykjavik groups to create beautiful music together, but this time around there was a twist. Along with the food portion of this year’s Taste of Iceland program–MOAR of THAT pls–this year bands collaborated with writers from the sister city on lyrics for cross-cultural songs that had their debut at the show.
So Apparat Organ Quartet paired with Seattle author Ryan Boudinot, while local rockers The Redwood Plan worked with Iceland writer Sjón. To get the process going, The Redwood Plan sent a couple songs to the Reykjavik-born poet and novelist to give him a taste of their sound; in response, a week later, he sent a poem. And from there, the new song “My Pocket Island” was born.
Ásgeir Trausti kicked off the show with acoustic guitars and simple, lovely harmonies, and the music got louder throughout the night from there, as Sudden Weather Change brought the ’90s back, and The Redwood Plan turned up the volume further. But the biggest surprise of the night was Apparat Organ Quartet. With four keyboardists and a drummer, sharp suits and some robot vocals, their songs are catchy and electro-dancey, with nods to both Kraftwerk and Daft Punk. The crowd couldn’t help but get into it. There’s a reason why they were counted on to close the night out right.