Reykjavík and Akureyri are in recovery mode, which can only mean one thing: another edition of Iceland Airwaves is officially in the books.
The festival is more a storm of creative energy than anything else, with over 200 acts and thousands of music lovers converging on the two cities over five days.
Bands play in anything that can hold a crowd, such as theatres, bars, churches, book stores and pools, making the festival a totally immersive, inescapable experience.
The goal is to shine a light on rising talent, so with that in mind here are the top discoveries of Iceland Airwaves 2017, broken down by genre.
Rock - Fufanu
Even in rock's fading state, there are still some young bands out there keeping the genre afloat. The biggest name on this list, Fufanu, are great at mixing their influences together into something fresh. Coming out of a techno project, the Icelandic trio combine electronic sensibilities with shoegaze atmospherics to end up with a modern take on post-punk.
R&B - Gangly
R&B has become a bit of an umbrella term. I think all it takes to be R&B these days is a smooth, emotional sound, and that's what this mysterious Icelandic supergroup has in spades. Featuring utterly sleek production that hits straight at the heart, Gangly is the sonic representation of what it must be like to live through Iceland's dark winters.
Electro Folk - MIMRA
The solo project of María Magnúsdóttir, MIMRA sows numerous genres and sounds together, expertly manoeuvring between delicate sparseness and powerful vivacity. Her vocals are astounding, both in terms of range and dexterity, and function as the glue which unifies the eclecticism of the music. The passion and strength of MIMRA’s voice simply cannot be ignored.
Hip Hop - Birnir
The hip hop scene in Iceland is absolutely exploding these days. A couple waves of artists have already established themselves and Birnir is the latest to leave his mark on the scene. With his icy cool sound featuring trap beats and a chilled out flow, the young rapper wears his influences on his sleeve.
Electro Pop - Milkywhale
Sometimes you just need to get swept up in the beat and dance your heart out. This is where Milkywhale can help. With unabashed synth dance instrumentals and soaring vocals, the two piece group are masters at creating a fun, party vibe to lose yourself in. Maybe if everyone listened to acts like this more we'd all get along better.
Iceland Airwaves 2018 will take place 7-11 November. Find more info on our guide and join the Waiting List to get priority access to tickets and packages, exclusive offers and all the latest news on the upcoming edition...
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