Icelandic group Vök released their new album ‘Figure’ last Friday, their widescreen soundscapes rustle with the ghosts of the emotive epiphanies of Portishead yet framed by dynamic minimal electronic contours that oscillate somewhere between The xx and Polica.. There’s is a sensual enveloping atmosphere that shapeshifts around their singer Margrét Rán’s fragile yet affecting intonations, that manage to freeze frame the difficult moments of life.
They have just supported Goldfrapp and return to the UK for a run of dates shortly.So we sent 20 questions to their guitarist Ólafur Alexander.
Where are you and what’s the weather like?
In Amsterdam – Pretty nice weather. WAY better than in Iceland
What’s the music scene like in Iceland right now?
Hip-Hop-y and friendly.
How did you meet the rest of the band?
Margrét and I are childhood friends. Met Andri through Margrét in my first jam session with Vök in 2013. Met Einar when we signed him up as our sound-tech in 2014.
What are your favourite books?
Kinda don’t read books
What are your favourite TV programmes?
I’m hooked on 13 Reasons Why these days.
What was the first record you bought and where did you buy it from?
Ólafur: My father used to and still works with the Icelandic radio so he got all music for free. Hence I got all music I wanted for free. Never actually had to buy music but the first album I got hooked on was A Hard Days Night by The Beatles.
What’s the worst song lyric of all time?
“I wanna fuck you” – Akon
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
Who do you consider to be the most overrated musical act of all time?
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
Difficult… first thing that pops into my mind is Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana covered by Ásgeir.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, a 9-year old pomeranian dog called Ylsú.
What car do you drive?
A rusty old silver 1998 Toyota Yaris.
Have you ever been starstruck?
No not really, never met anyone famous enough.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?
I do work as photographer and marketing/social media director in the best clothing store in Reykjavík alongside being in Vök. Would be doing that full time if I weren’t in a band.
What’s your poison?
Tell us a joke?
A blind man walks into a bar… and a chair. And a table.
What are the records that have had most influence upon you as a band?
Probably Mezzanine by Massive Attack and Dummy by Portishead.
What decade would you most liked to have lived in?
What is your culinary speciality?
Egg & Bacon.
What is your least favourite record you have made and why?
Tension, of course because it lacked yours truly.
‘Figure’ is out now via Nettwerk. They play the following UK shows this month.
London, Bush Hall (May 17th), Salford, The Eagle Inn (18th), Bristol, The Louisiana (19th).
Current list of EU tour dates here: http://www.vok.is/live