Vök are an Icelandic dream pop and indietronic band from Reykjavík known for their upbeat and large sounds. Eivør continues the night with music inspired by the wide open, choppy seas and gale battered coasts of her homeland, while preeminent electronica artists GusGus hail from the larger-than-life Nordic dance music scene.
Icelandic electronic dream-pop trio Vök consists of Margrét Rán (vocals), Einar Stef (bass/guitar) and Bergur (drums).
Through their unique and lushly layered sound that blends electro and indie with forward-thinking pop comes a self-assured aesthetic that is just as striking as their sound. Vök continues to cement its position as one of the most exciting alternative bands.
The frontwoman Margrét Rán has led the development of Vök from the beginning in 2013. She started making music on her own when she was 13. At age 20, she found the confidence to ask her friend to participate in Iceland’s prestigious Músíktilraunir competition. The duet was called Vök, and they won only six months after they started playing together.
Their triumph soon led to the release of their debut EP, Tension. They began to further mark themselves as rising innovators of intelligent, atmospheric jams on their second EP, Circles. Einar Stef (also drummer of Hatari) had joined the band.
Hailed by Noisey as “channeling the Beach soundtrack via 1980s synth pop and the modern sexiness of The Knife,” the release landed them an international record deal with Nettwerk Music Group in Canada. Soon afterward, Rán’s childhood friend left, and Bergur stepped in as a drummer as Einar Stef became a co-writer and took over on bass and guitar.
Their first album released under the banner of Nettwerk was Figure in 2017. The album was critically acclaimed and won the Icelandic Music Awards in the Electronic Music category. The Line of Best Fit hailed it a “brilliant debut album.” In The Dark followed in 2019. Co-produced by James Earp (Lewis Capaldi, Rebecca Ferguson), the album established Vök as one of the leading bands in the electronic scene in Iceland. It won Pop Album of the Year, and Rán won the Singer and Songwriter of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards 2020.
Rán has since been featured as a vocalist and co-written with pioneering electronic band Gus Gus. She also scored her first feature-length documentary film, A Song Called Hate. She was nominated for Best Score at the Icelandic Film Awards, and the film was awarded Best Documentary in Iceland in 2021.
Vök is currently working on their third full-length LP, out September 2022 following Feeding on Tragedy, their four-track EP released in 2021.
Eivør Pálsdóttir is an artist perfectly attuned to the savage vicissitudes of nature. Born and raised in Syðrugøta, a tiny community on one of the northern Faroe Islands, the singer-songwriter grew up surrounded by a harsh, windswept landscape and the North Atlantic, unsurprisingly the rugged backdrop which profoundly influenced her music. Songs such as “Tides,” “Fog Banks,” and “Waves and the Wind’ tied themes like love and growing old to the primitive environment of her youth. She wrote “Into the Mist” (from her widely praised 2017 UK debut, Slør) about getting lost on a local mountain, Støðlafjall.
Forthcoming record, Segl, Pálsdóttir’s ninth studio album since releasing her debut at just 17, builds on these motifs, exploring our journeys as humans, both metaphorically and physically. The title – meaning “sail” in Faroese – alludes to our desire for growth and direction and fate’s role in both. “You have to hoist your own sail,” she says, “but you cannot control the wind.” Thus, Segl explores the navigation between the soft and rough edges of life and the balance that must be struck between strength and vulnerability, dark and light. “How will you find calm in the chaos?”
Pálsdóttir first immersed herself in music aged 13, fronting a trip-hop band after discovering seminal albums by Massive Attack and Portishead when they reached The Faroes. Gigs soon followed, including some held afloat, in pitch-black darkness, inside a huge cave on the island of Hestur. At 16, she quit school to move alone to Iceland to further her musical ambitions, releasing her self-titled debut album and relocating to Reykjavik to pursue classical singing training. Her dream was matched by success – two acclaimed albums followed soon after, and she has since won the Icelandic Music Prize (with her album Krákan), the first-non-Icelandic artist to do so, not once but twice.
This led to international recognition and several opportunities. A move to Copenhagen, sync spots for her music across TV and film, including Homeland, Silence, The Last Kingdom and Game of Thrones, and the approval of contemporaries including John Grant and Ásgeir are all testament to the power and appeal of her music. Even the world of video games is not immune to her charms: she has collaborated on the soundtrack for Metal Gear Solid and appeared at Los Angeles’ E3 international gaming event in 2016, performing to a global audience of 50 million at the launch of God of War.
Tastemakers of the scene for a quarter of a century, GusGus are one of the most beloved and longstanding electronic acts hailing from Iceland. Offering much more than just unparalleled musical mastery, the group has had its feet firmly spread across various sectors of the creative space since its inception and would sooner be classified as a multi-media art collective above all else. Perhaps their most defining quality has been a colorful history of mysterious dramas and last-minute collapses, woven amidst incredible apex moments that have undoubtedly made theirs one of the most compelling journeys of any electronic ensemble.
After 25 years of music, memories and unforgettable live performances, GusGus unfolded into a new era with the announcement of their 2021 album. Rejuvenated and replete with creative aspiration, the collective welcomed Vök’s Margrét Rán as the newest member of the circus, calling upon her illustrious dream-pop vocals to launch a new chapter in the GusGus saga. Offering an immersive montage of short stories that will serve as their most ambitious and forward-thinking LP, Mobile Home echoes the world’s forgotten purpose, lost between distraction and material consciousness screens. This conceptual manifesto embodies GusGus and their world, a virtuous blend of masterful compositions and profound ideologies.
Dates & Times
7pm – Vök
8:15pm – Eivør
9:45pm – GusGus
235 Queens Quay W.
Toronto, ON, M5J 2G8