The Fanpage of the Icelandic band Hellvar by Wim Van Hooste

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review of Airwaves 2008 in Zink Magazine

Of 180 performances, about thirty were by international acts like CSS, Vampire Weekend, Yelle, Biffy Clyro, White Lies, Handsome Furs, Final Fantasy and more. Yet the festival’s highlights were its Icelandic artists, who ranged in style from indie rock to black metal, electro to folk. My favorite locals shows included: Hellvar, an adorable singer/songwriter who sounds like Björk, looks like Björk, but guess what, she’s not Björk! Reykjavík!, the metal band whose raging set in a horse stable was completely insane. Parachutes, whose cinematic soundscapes are reminiscent of Sigur Rós. Vicky, the almost all-girl metal band (drummer’s a dude) with mohawks as sharp as their songs. Gus Gus, hardly new, but their thumping electronic set got thousands dancing. Seabear, a folk-pop buzz band whose music you’ll soon hear on Gossip Girl.
Icelandic Invasion

Friday, January 22, 2010

Subpopstar blog about Hellvar's Song of the Day "Nowhere"

I found a review by Steve Bingham of Hellvar. He compares the band with Alex Carlier's Belgian band Hooverphonic (previous called Hoover, due to legal problems renamed Hooverphonic). Remember the song "2Wicky" (from the album "A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular") featured on the soundtrack to Bertolucci’s movie "Stealing Beauty" (Io Ballo da Sola).
Hellvar is something of an enigma. A band founded in 2004 by Icelandic philosophy students studying in Berlin, the quartet has blended influences without becoming easily lumped in with any particular scene. My own personal comparison would run something like this: combine a Björkish singer with the ominous basslines of Curve during early Hooverphonic. There. Clear as mud, right?
Seriously, the first thing you notice is the driving, insistent beat providing a sense of foreboding. When the bass kicks in you know it's ominous. A wall of guitars borrowed from a lost shoegazing band joins in the fray. And when Heida sings it all makes sense. This band is trying to lift you up while simultaneously pummeling you with sound. It's beautiful, it's scary, it's foreign...almost like the beautiful, cold country Hellvar calls home. When "Nowhere" ends you're left wondering what just happened to you.
A new album may be in the works for 2010. In the meantime look for the 2007 release "Bat Out of Hellvar" (Kimi Records) though it may prove tough to find. Definitely check online for this one or order from the band through the link on MySpace.
Source: Subpopstar