A Chat With an Icelandic Singer Fueled by the Strange and Beautiful
Our crowned Artist of the Week, Iceland’s dark dream-pop singer Sóley, is nobody’s puppet (…but she makes a pretty rad puppet show.) After playing for years with Iceland’s folk rock band Seabear and prepping to tour with Of Monsters and Men next month, Sóley spills about channeling her dark side, making music for an adult puppet show, and finding newfound freedom via her solo project.
Congratulations! How’s it feel to be artist of the week?
Thanks! It feels nice, I guess!
Some of your songs have some definitive horror themes (i.e. “Kill the Clown.”) What draws you to the dark side?
There is something about the dark side that I like. It’s probably because when I write my music and lyrics I try to go to some other world or I try to write as I would in a dream, or somewhere more surreal than my normal life is. I guess I see the world I write about as a little dark. But I have a lot of fun writing so it’s nothing depressing.
You started off playing with folk band Seabear and ventured out on your own for two albums. How is it different working as a solo artist?
You have more freedom to do what you want, and you are your own boss.
For you, what’s the difference between your sound and vibe and sound and Seabear?
When we do Seabear music, we all participate. For the last Seabear album, we had seven different people playing and making the same song. So of course, it could never be Sóley’s music on Seabear albums because other members would change it so much.
We can’t stop hearing about indiepop artists from Iceland. Why do you think this music thrives so hard there?
We have nothing else to do!
Are you inspired by fellow Icelandic artists, or do you take your inspirations from elsewhere?
Yes, when I was younger I listened a lot to Icelandic music, and still do. I think we all inspire each other in one way or another. My inspirations come from all over the place. Music, poems, visual art, dreams and weird stuff.
You recently made music for a puppet show? Please elaborate!
Yes we have been working on it for the last two months, making the script from only one idea: news. It has been great and a lot of work making a piece out of no script or making the script as we rehearse. So it’s a puppet show for adults about our relationship with news. It’s weird and beautiful! We will have few more shows and two around Iceland Airwaves. The play is in no language so if anyone is coming to Iceland during the festival, I recommend this event.
Future plans for you as a solo artist? With Seabear?
New solo album, hopefully next year!