Live Video: Hjaltalín

Iceland Airwaves
05/27/2014
Jim Beckmann
photo by Morgen Schuler (view set)

Not all of the magical places in Iceland are majestic glaciers, crystal waterfalls, bubbling thermal springs, or the lava field dwellings of the so-called hidden folk -- some are as common as public swimming pools. Sundlaugin, for instance, was for some sixty years a local pool just outside Reykjavik, until Sigur Rós converted it into their personal studio and rehearsal space. Theirs, and many other incredible albums have been recorded since Sundlaugin became a commercial recording facility. Now, the Swimming Pool is legendary. And it was also the perfect place to record one of Iceland's most critically acclaimed bands, Hjaltalín. On Enter 4, their latest, and much lauded third LP, the seven-piece group toned down their baroque chamber pop tendencies for a stripped down, somewhat electronic sound, in keeping with the album's frequently raw and confessional songs. While the recording of Enter 4 is darkly gorgeous, within the bright and unadorned, and ultimately transformative, space of Sundlaugin, Hjaltalín's live session become one of unforgettable intimacy and indelible emotional impact. Watch the entire magical moment here:

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