Reykjavik Calling in Seattle on October 28th

Media Contacts:                                                                     

Michael Graubard, 206 Inc., 206.388.1459 (w) 206.898.0706 (c)

Alyssa Goldberg, 206 Inc., 206.388.1454


Reykjavik Calling Returns to Seattle for a FREE show at Neumos on Friday October 28 - Doors at 8 pm

Artists include Sean Nelson, who will debut a new musical project, Olof Arnalds, David Bazan, Snorri Helgason, and more…                                                                                                                                                

SEATTLE – October 5, 2011 – Reykjavik Calling is coming back to Seattle for a second year with an expanded international line-up that features musicians from Seattle, Iceland, Greenland the Faroe Islands.  The “sister city” showcase was born out of a clear musical and cultural tie that exists between Seattle and Reykjavik  as a way to celebrate talented musicians as well as exciting new music emerging from both cities. The inaugural showcase in 2010 clearly struck the right chord with Seattle music fans who packed the venue to capacity to enjoy a truly unique night of music.

Based on that success, organizers, including KEXP and Iceland Naturally, decided to not only bring back the showcase in 2011, but to expand the international reach. In addition to musicians from Iceland and Seattle, this year’s show will also include musicians from Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. 

The 21+ show is Friday, Oct. 28 at 8:00 p.m. and is FREE to the public until capacity is reached. The showcase is presented by KEXP in partnership with the City of Reykjavik, Icelandair, and Iceland Naturally.

Musicians featured in the 2011 showcase include:


Ólöf Arnalds: Iceland

Snorri Helgason: Iceland

Gudrid Hansdottir: Faroe Islands

Nive Nielsen: Greenland



             Sean Nelson & Kyle O'Quin: Harvey Danger/The Long Winters/Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground          

             David Bazan

             Tomo Nakayama: Grand Hallway


For more information on the artists see biographies below.

“It's always a pleasure to do anything in association with KEXP, the prime mover in revivifying an international audience for post-boom Seattle music," said Sean Nelson, former front man of Harvey Danger and founding member of The Long Winters. "It's all the more pleasing for me and Kyle to debut our new project alongside dauntless maestri (and friends) like Bazan, and Tomo. I look forward to meeting the Iceland contingent, and helping to form a musical/cultural bridge between here and Reykjavik—especially since building a literal one seems impractical.”

With the intention of supporting musical exploration, each Seattle artist has been paired with an international counterpart to encourage collaboration on their performances.  The blending of music from these two distinct cultures will inevitably give fans an evening full of new sounds and exciting collaboration. Artists will perform a handful of their own music followed by a few songs with their international partner.

“Seattle and Iceland have a lot in common, particularly a culture rooted in a deep appreciation of music and creativity” said Kevin Cole, KEXP’s Senior Director of Programming. “KEXP is thrilled to continue to showcase international artists like those performing at Reykjavik Calling and introduce Seattle music fans to new music that might just feel strangely familiar.”

In addition to presenting Reykjavik Calling, KEXP has a strong commitment to Seattle’s Sister City and will be broadcasting live from Reykjavik during Iceland Airwaves on Oct. 12 - Oct. 14, 2011.

“Last year was an amazing opportunity to experience what happens when two cities so steeped in music collide. Since Iceland and Seattle are such fitting cultural counterparts, this year we wanted to explore the possibilities of musical collaborations beyond Iceland, and expand Reykjavik Calling to include musicians from our friends and neighbors Greenland and the Faroe Islands,”  said Hlynur Gudjonsson, Consul and Iceland's Trade Commissioner for North America. “Once again we are honored to share the stage with talented Seattle artists and perform for fans that share our appreciation for music.”

While many of these artist’s home countries may seem far, they are a lot closer than one might think. Thanks to Icelandair’s non-stop flight from Seattle to Iceland, travelers only have to fly a few short hours to experience the creative and vibrant Nordic culture for themselves.

For more information on the Sister City Showcase: Reykjavik Calling and Iceland Naturally visit .


About the Musicians

Ólöf Arnalds: Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist Ólöf Arnalds can play violin, viola and guitar, but her most distinctive asset is, nonetheless, her voice with an otherworldly quality described by Björk as “somewhere between a child and an old woman.” Ólöf’s approach to making music remains highly individual: playful but intimate; accessible and uplifting, yet deeply personal which makes Ólöf Arnalds such a uniquely appealing musician into whose confidence listeners can’t help but want to be taken.

Sean Nelson: Though he has also gained notoriety as a writer, actor, and filmmaker over the past decade, Sean Nelson remains best known as the singer for Seattle indie pop band Harvey Danger (1994-2009), whose debut album generated the number one single—and perpetual karaoke staple—“Flagpole Sitta." He has also recorded and performed with Death Cab for Cutie, Robyn Hitchcock, Nada Surf, and The Decemberists, and was a founding member of The Long Winters.  Nelson's debut solo album will be released in 2012

Kyle O'Quin: After serving as keyboardist and vocalist for indie-rock band, Gatsbys American Dream, Kyle O’Quin teamed up with band mate Kirk Huffman to form Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground in 2006. The band known for their orchestral “punk-rock Vaudville vibe”, toured across the county with as many as 15 members and Kyle at the piano. In 2010 Kyle finished recording his debut, solo album and has also scored several short films with filmmakers from Seattle and Vancouver.

Snorri Helgason: With his home grown and self-taught approach to songwriting, Icelandic singer-songwriter Snorri Helgason has been favorably compared to singer-songwriter legends like Paul Simon, Harry Nilsson and Neil Young. While his music resonates with past greats, his mixing of diverse influences of everything from soul to Britpop to glam-rock into his primarily folk-based songs—not to mention his Icelandic background—leaves us with something entirely unique.

David Bazan: David Bazan was, for many years, the songwriter and driving force behind the acclaimed indie band Pedro the Lion, building a dedicated following based in large part on his extraordinary melodic sense and erudite, theologically-themed songs. After a decade helming the project, he found himself embroiled in a major personal philosophical and spiritual cataclysm, wrapped in a growing drinking problem. Bazan got to work exorcizing both his demons and angels, ditching the Pedro moniker in favor of his given name and producing three incredible pieces of work in the Fewer Moving Parts EP, the 2009 album Curse Your Branches and the 2011 album Strange Negotiations.

Gudrid Hansdottir: Gudrid Handottir hails from the Faroe Islands, a cluster of 18 small islands between Iceland and Scotland. Her music is a Lilith Fair-worthy blend of chamber pop and perky folk-rock. At the age of 14 she learned to play her first guitar chords and began writing songs of her own. Since that Gudrid has become one of Faroe Islands most popular female artists. She has released three successful solo albums and her latest Beyond The Gray is filled with catchy folk songs sung in both English and Faroese inspired by the Faroese culture and daily life.

Tomo Nakayama: As lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Seattle band Grand Hallway, Tomo Nakayama has been turning heads for quite some time. Supported by a cast of some of Seattle’s most talented musicians, Tomo draws inspiration for Grand Hallway’s songs from the Pacific Northwest (particularly the rain) and his Japanese background. Whether performing “chamber-pop” with a crew of 15 musicians or taking a more restrained route, as on the latest album Winter Creatures, Tomo Nakayama has acquired a loyal fan base with his mesmerizingly raw, but friendly tenor voice.

Nive Nielsen: Eskimo folk, Arctic pop, or Inuk indie? The truth is Nive Nielsen’s music is hard to pigeonhole. And that, quite literally in this case, goes with the territory. Nive is a ukulele wielding inuit artist hailing from Greenland and one of the first in her country to try and do things the indie way. That is no mean feat, since her hometown, the capital city of Nuuk, does not boast any record stores, let alone underground ethics. It is so remote there aren’t even any roads connecting the towns. Go figure.

About Iceland Naturally

Iceland Naturally is a joint marketing program that promotes tourism, services, and products from Iceland.  Iceland Naturally represents the essence of Iceland, its nature and creativity - pure, natural, and unspoiled. The program, supported by the Government of Iceland, unites the efforts of Visit Iceland, New York Office; the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Overseas Business Services; and these IN members: Icelandair, Icelandic USA, Inc., City of Reykjavik, Reyka Vodka, Promote Iceland, Islandsbanki, Landsvirkjun, KEF International Airport, 66° North, Blue Lagoon and Icelandic Glacial Water.  For more information visit

About KEXP

KEXP's mission is to enrich people's lives by championing music and discovery. It connects people to a deep array of music - reggae and world music, blues and jazz, electronic and hip-hop, indie rock, rockabilly, country, and more. It fuels a powerful community of listeners and artists. Started in 1972 as a 10-watt station at the University of Washington, KEXP has become the place where people go to experience and discover music they can't find anywhere else. 200,000 listeners from seven continents tune in to KEXP every week; more than 75,000 unique users visit its website each week; and more than 10,000 people stream KEXP every day. Last year, listeners downloaded more than 19 million podcasts and KEXP produced more than 500 in-studio performances.  For more information visit

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