What: Body&Soul-bound all-female group
Why: The recent success of Cardi B in hip-hop, a female MC succeeding in a crowded male space, is a rare occurrence. Outside of the nucleus ofthe North American scene, female hip-hop is still rarely visible. In Iceland an all-female collective are redressing the balance by employing a "power in numbers" ethos that means Reykjavíkurdætur numbers a dozen ladies strong.
Their name is Icelandic for Daughters Of Reykjavik and formed in 2013 in Icelandic’s surprisingly active rap scene as a safe space for female MCs to find their voices. Since then the sisterhood has developed as a force to be reckoned with – talented rappers who can wipe their floor with their male contemporaries. Though they rap in Icelandic the language’s expressive rolls and pops are so suited to the genre that not understanding the words feels less of an issue than it should.
The band were the hit of Iceland Airwaves in 2015, and have repeated the trick every year since. On stage they are a wild collective of performers with fierce attitudes, unapologetic demeanours, distinct personalities, styles and flows.
Their unique energy and spectacle was infectious enough that they have developed a cult following, yet their number is a prohibitive touring logistic that means they don’t get to travel beyond their hometown. With live shows rare, make it your business to see this Icelandic powerhouse at Body&Soul Festival this year.
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Mick Pyro: Very Strange
The former Republic of Loose singer has never lost his swagger,despite being less visible in recent years since the band disbanded. You could find him doing blues and funk covers around Dublin if you were eagle-eyed enough. Very Strange is a welcome return to the limelight for the vocalist with the raspy soul voice. It's a bombastic radio-ready soul-rock track. Listen here
Ross From Friends: John Cage
Pisstake experimentalism? New age fakery? Chris Morris-esque japery? On the surface, John Cage, the song from 24-year-old Felix Weatherall, is a joke track with a narrator spouting new age pleasantries over an aquatic ambient track. But on second and third plays this six-minute song unfolds into something that transcends its parts on paper. A repeating vocal is the hook, a simplistic link into this weird and wonderful track on the Brainfeeder label. Listen here