By Eamon Hope-Ross and Katrina Lat
Icelandic trio, Vök, plays Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavik on June 23rd. Ahead of their set at the midnight sun festival, we asked them a few questions about their latest release ‘In the Dark’, their growth since they first entered and won the Icelandic Músíktilraunir contest, and who they’re excited to see perform at Secret Solstice.
Q: Your current album, ‘In the Dark’ takes a poppier approach than your previous releases. What influences, musical or otherwise, impacted the change in direction?
The feeling of playing something lighter and punchier did play a big part in our change of direction. There was this summer vibe tickling us while making the album. Main inspirations were Tame Impala, The weeknd, Little Dragon, Cardigans, Metronomy and many more.
Q: How have you changed as artists, and individuals since you entered in the Músíktilraunir back in 2013?
Probably more polished and defined versions of ourselves. We know more about what we want and our boundaries. To keep on evolving, daring ourselves and trying something new is an ongoing theme we love to stick with.
Q: If you were to travel back in time to the week before the competition, what is one piece of advice you would give your former selves?
Q: Your 2013 EP, Tension, has a few Icelandic songs on it, but the majority of your recent songs have been in English. What influenced this change, and will you be making more Icelandic language music again in the future?
The plan was always to get our music out of Iceland so that was the main reason why we wrote more and more in English and eventually stuck with that. I’m regularly asked that question and I have no idea, maybe one day I’ll wake up craving to write an Icelandic song, you never know.
Q: What was the inspiration and backstory for ‘Erase You’?
I wrote the song in a 2 day writing session with James Earp couple of months before he co-produced our album In the Dark. I had never met him before so we started chatting about life and what were all about as persons. An hour later we had been talking about our former relationships and how dreadful they where haha. So we had the perfect material to work with and ‘Erase You’ came to life.
Q: What has been your favorite crowd of all time to perform to, and why?
There’s something about the Berlin crowd, they lift us high off the ground and give us so much energy and sing along every song. That gives us more reason to do this.
Q: What is your ideal setting for enjoying music – a quiet evening at home, a heated dancefloor, or elsewhere?
Cleaning my apartment and listening to music is a deadly combo. Also while painting or drawing. Basically listing to music while doing something is where i enjoy it the most.
Q: You have traveled extensively throughout Europe and the US over the course of the past year. What do you miss most about Iceland when you’re abroad?
The Icelandic water, air and of course, my home.
Q: Are there any cities or festivals that are on your ‘bucket list’ (other than Toronto!)?
I would be lying if didn’t say Coachella and Primavera, Rock Werchter would also be cool.
Q: Who are you most excited to see at Secret Solstice Festival?
Patti Smith and Morcheeba <3
Q: Any upcoming plans that you’d like to share with us?
Excited to go to G-festival at the Faroe islands, never been there! And new songs in the making and I’m feeling really good about them so hopefully new music out as soon as possible.