FESTIVAL WATCH: Vacationer & Blouse to Perform at Iceland Airwaves Courtesy of Reyka Vodka
By Staff on August 15, 2012
For the second year in a row Reyka Vodka, the first vodka ever distilled in Iceland, is giving two up-and-coming American bands their chance to take a spot onstage through their “Breakthrough at Iceland Airwaves” contest. After months of collecting entries from hundreds of bands, the winners of the contest are Vacationer and Blouse.
Formed in 2011 as a side project for Philly-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Kenny Vasoli, Vacationer blends the escapist dream pop of Beach House with the quasi-mystical electro-pop of Animal Collective. Rhythmic, heady, and hypnotic yet peppered with heartfelt lyrics and genuine emotion, Vacationer released its debut EP in 2011, followed by the full-length Gone in 2012; both were put out by Downtown Records.
"It's always been a dream to get to travel to Iceland; it's such a beautiful place and there are some truly amazing bands/artists that we admire that have come out of Iceland, and we couldn't think of a better way to do it by playing Iceland Airwaves,” remarked Vacationer lead singer Kenny Vasoli. “Vacationing is an underlying theme of our band, and getting to see Sigur Ros play in Iceland and getting to take a dip in the Blue Lagoon as well as playing Airwaves is something that we can barely comprehend. We'd love to thank Reyka Vodka and Iceland Airwaves for making this happen."
Blouse, a Portland, Oregon trio crafting ethereal yet driving electronic pop features: Charlie Hilton, Patrick Adams, and Jacob Portrait. Hilton, whose aloof vocals give Blouse an otherworldly quality, met Adams in art school during the summer of 2010; after making a few home recordings together, they connected with Portrait and began laying down tracks in his warehouse studio. By early 2011 they were signed to the moody Brooklyn-based label Captured Tracks. That year Blouse also released a slew of singles, including their debut 7" Into Black/Firestarter that March and their Sub Pop release Shadow that May. That November, Blouse's self-titled debut arrived.
"We can't think of a better way to spend Halloween,” commented Blouse lead singer Charlie Hilton. “Thank you Iceland Airwaves and Reyka Vodka for inviting us. We've heard good things about you."
Both bands have won a weeklong trip to Reykjavik including travel and lodging, and get to perform alongside some of the most exciting and inspired names in music.
Dirty Projectors, Of Monsters and Men, Sigur Rós and 200 others are each confirmed to play the acclaimed Iceland Airwaves music festival, running October 31 – November 4, 2012. “The hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar,” according to Rolling Stone; since 1999, Iceland Airwaves has quickly become one of the world’s most revered and celebrated cutting edge music festivals.
“Reyka is an important proponent and advocate of Icelandic culture, and a supporter of the independent music scene,” said Grimur Atlason, Festival Manager of Iceland Airwaves. “It’s this investment and commitment that makes them ideal partners for Iceland Airwaves. We’re so pleased to have them involved for a second year, and excited to see the talent that will join our incredible line up!”