When I saw that Sóley would come to E-Werk, Erlangen, I knew I have to be there. The memories of her overwhelming performance at KEX hostel during Airwaves 15 still were young. Back then, she played solo and I can’t remember a full to bursting KEX being that quiet during a set, entirely entranced from Sóleys expression and music. Moreover, I was ashamed of having missed the highly praised Mr. Silla in Reykjavík as there was just too much great stuff going on at the same time. Two at a stroke! The small Club stage at E-Werk was a perfectly suitable setting for Sóley’s silent and dreamy music and her personal and intimate lyrics. But one step at a time! First of course it was up to Mr. Silla.
Actually, Mr. Silla is Ms. Silla, named Sigurlaug Gísladóttir. And she’s accompanied by Tyler Ludwick at the guitar and drum pads. She is also playing guitar herself. But most notably, she mesmerized the audience, which shyly kept some sufficient safety distance from the stage at first, with her gorgeous, vibrant and warm voice. Though you could describe Mr. Sillas electronic-styled music as airy and relaxed, there are some songs on their self-named debut album that are as perfect for exstatic dancing as they are for simply dandling to the beat of the music. “Holding on” would be an appropriate example. The reason why they are on almost everyone’s lips right now in Iceland definitely became clear during their set. The crowd cheered extensively when Sigurlaug jumped over to the merch right after their last song.
After a pleasantly short break, Sóley, who brought her cup of tea along, and her two tour musicians Albert Finnbogason (guitar) und Jón Óskar Jónsson (drums) entered the stage. And the audience, now significantly closer to the stage, was spellbound right from the first tune of her opener “And leave”. And Sóley didn’t disband that spell during the following about one hour. She is an epiphany live. With her irresistible charisma, her marvellous sense of humor and her simply inexpressibly beautiful voice she’s completely fascinating. Instrumentally, she switched between her piano and keyboard/synthesizers. And from time to time she set up some splendid loops, like during a stirring version of “I’ll drown”, which was decorated by a perfectly timed whistle from the crowd Sóley herself chuckled about. Though she is undoubtley the heart of the performance, this is the time pass a compliment also to her musicians. Albert educed some admirably beautiful and gloomy sounds from his guitar and furthermore put deep bass below some of the songs using a beat pad. And Jón Óskar was the builder of the rhythmic framework with his accentuated, straight to the point drumming. To prevent the crowd from tumbling down the sinister rabbit hole of her eerie and sometimes nightmarish fairytale lyrics, Sóley told some funny stories from this tour which led her to Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Germany. And when she can’t stop giggling herself, the same is true for her audience.
After eleven songs of both her albums, “We sink” and “Ask the deep”, Sóley closed this remarkable evening with “Kill the clown”. And just before the last tune faded away, she said goodbye with the “Jingle Bells” theme. Marry christmas, Sóley!
Setlist: And leave – Devil – The sun is going down II – Smashed birds – Halloween – One eyed lady – Pretty face – Ævintýr – I’ll drown – Follow me down – Kill the clown