Not many bands can lay claim to the kind of dramatic career development that the Icelandic band Árstíðir can. Formed in the wake of the 2008 stock market crash, they found themselves catapulted to the top of the Icelandic music charts within six months of their debut, and then forged ahead with their 2010 tour despite a volcanic eruption that stalled global travel.
Árstíðir’s music defies genre borders and might best be described as classically influenced indie folk rock. Whether in a train station in Germany, a concert hall in Russia or a bar at home in Reykjavík, theirs is music that mesmerizes audiences. The band members’ wide range of musical backgrounds and experience, combined with professional interests ranging from law to literature and engineering to computers, make them unique in their wholly democratic approach to music making and performance. Entwining the elements of sound with lyrics describing heartbreak, longing, memory and a deep connection to the circular oneness of life, they marry organic acoustic traditions and modern electronic arrangements with intricate simplicity and unpretentious skill.
Árstíðir plays on Friday at Castlefest.