Dive In: 6 Iceland Airwaves artists share their must-have album of all-time

In Reykjavík, the first week of November is synonymous with Iceland Airwaves. The music festival takes over the windy city for four nights and days. Unlikely storefronts are transformed into stages, and venues brim with festival-goers: from KEX Hostel to the Art Museum, Gamla Bíó to Fríkirkjan. The lineup is always a hearty mix of local talent and foreign acts who have yet to play the island. The combination results in a unique, often magical experience. There is always another act around the corner to be discovered. Last year, we caught up Icelandic headliners and up-and-coming international artists to ask them each the same question. Inspired by the icy shores, we wondered which album these six Airwaves performers would bring to a deserted island. That is: if you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Kælan Mikla

Up the Bracket by The Libertines: “I’ve listened to it repeatedly for the last 12 years and it still makes me jump around and I never want to skip a song.” – Laufey Soffía

Heligoland by Massive Attack: “It’s a modern musical masterpiece that fits no genre in general and has such a variety of atmosphere and feelings that fits all moods. Each time I listen to it, I hear elements I haven’t heard before. I will stay impressed and in love forever.” – Sólveig Matthildur

Doolittle by Pixies: “It’s definitely one of my all-time favourite albums. I can listen to it over and over again and never get tired of it, every song is a banger!” – Maggý Rósa


W.H. Lung

Grace by Jeff Buckley + Getz/Gilberto by João Gilberto and Stan Getz + In Rainbows by Radiohead: “To be played at the same time.” – Joseph. E, Tom. S, Tom. P, Mercer Main, Mulligan, Olson



Rumours by Fleetwood Mac: “It’s my all-time favourite album! I started listening to it in 2014 and haven’t stopped since.”


Madame Gandhi

The Best of the Black President by Fela Kuti: “Each 14-minute long political afrobeat song elevates my mood and motivates my spirit.”



STUMM433: “We pick recent Mute Records’ compilation STUM433, featuring many of our favourite artists – an album with great variety and interpretations on a piece that changed our understanding of music.”



Remain In Light by Talking Heads: “Only this year have I properly explored the band’s music, and I know it’s something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Even in modern times, the sounds on the album sound futuristic, and the lyrics and melodies completely unique. A truly inspiring piece of work.” – Charlie Steen

Slanted and Enchanted by Pavement: “I haven’t got bored of it yet, so hopefully it would stand the test of time on the desert island.” – Charlie Forbes

Women by Women: “Purely for the fact it has the song ‘Shaking Hand’ on it, I could listen to that track forever. That or God Bless Tiny Tim.” – Josh Finerty

In Rainbows by Radiohead – Sean Coyle-Smith

Ghosts of the Great Highway by Sun Kil Moon: “There’s like 3 versions of each song so you’d never get bored.” – Eddie Green


This article is taken from our new digital issue, which you can read in full for free.
All photos by Alex Howard.