Nordic New Music: Icelandic trio Ateria

We are back again with some more Nordic New Music and this time around we speak to three relatives from Reykjavík who make up the band Ateria.

The band comprises of Ása Ólafsdóttir on guitar and vocals, her sibling Eir Ólafsdóttir on bass, cello and vocals, and their cousin and youngest of the three, Fönn Fannardóttir, on the drums. They formed a few years ago and won a competition in 2018 for Icelandic Music Experiments (IME). Their new album is released today.

For those that have not discovered you yet how would you best describe your music?

We have always had trouble defining our music. We get inspiration from many different directions and our music reflects that. Some have described it as folk-goth, but it also contains elements from classical music and rock.

You have an album out today – tell us about the inspiration going into making this and the theme behind it?

The album is inspired by everyday life that tends to be monotonous and depressing, especially during the wintertime as the winter in Iceland is dark and cold. The lyrics touch on subjects like anxiety, school, and bad teachers, the feeling of not fitting in, and climate change.

With the album out what have you got lined up next? Any live shows?

We have a live show on the 23rd of October to celebrate the release!

You are based in Iceland – where are some of your favorite places to hang out?

Ása: I like hanging out at cafes like Cafe Rósenberg, Iða, Kattakahúsið (the cat cafe), 12 Tónar (which is also a record store)…

Eir: I like going to the shore, Ægissíða. The graveyard, Hólavallagarður, is also surprisingly cozy. I also really like the library downtown. We all live in Reykjavík and spend most of our time there, but I really like going out of the city as well.

Fönn: I mostly like walking around downtown Reykjavík. I sometimes go to cafes like Mokka and Katár and sometimes Ice-Cream shops like Ísbúð Vesturbæjar and Gaeta Gelato.

What was the last TV show or Film you watched, the book you read, and the album you listened to?

TV show: Casa de papel (Money Heist)
Movie: Karlakórinn Hekla (The Men’s Choir), an Icelandic comedy from 1992.
Book: Svínshöfuð by Bergþóra Snæbjörnsdóttir
Album: Hail to the Thief by Radiohead

TV show: Young Royals
Movie: Dating Amber
Book: Kvika by Þóra Hjörleifsdóttir
Album: Me and Armini by Emiliana Torrini

TV show: Castle
Movie: Atlantis: Milo’s Return
Book: Villueyjar by Ragnhildur Hólmgeirsdóttir
Album: Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish

Interview by Alex Minnis

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