As volcanic ash from Iceland once again causes disruption to UK airports Buzzin Media interviewed the newest addition to Iceland’s enviable canon of internationally acclaimed music artists.
Feldberg are a duo from Iceland consisting of singer Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld and multi-instrumentalist Einar Tönsberg (better known as Eberg). They were formed in 2008 when songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Einar returned to Iceland from London looking for a female vocalist to record Running Around, a song he had written for an Icelandic advert.
Feldberg make sumptuous dreamy electro acoustic folk-edged pop music. This year their debut album, Don’t Be A Stranger finally received a UK release via Smalltown America. The album was preceded by two singles, Don’t Be a Stranger and Dreamin’.
Do you come from Reykjavík? What is the rest of Iceland like compared to Reykjavík?
Einar: We live by the sea and all the cute houses look the same here with these multi-colored iron rooftops. Iceland is more or less the size of England but with less population then Brighton. Two third of the population is around Reykjavik, so the rest is pretty peaceful. Just tweny minutes outside of Reykjavík you are already in lava land where moss covered lava is everywhere to be found. The centre is amazing, a sordow no mans land and unaccessible unless by 4×4.
How did you first meet & start working together?
Rósa: Well Einar called me up because he was working on a sync and apparently no less than three people recommended he should call me. He had a nice voice and seemed stressed so I just popped right over to his studio and never left.
You played as a three-piece in a recent gig at The Lexington in London but you have previously played with a full band. What do you prefer and why do you not always use the same group live?
Einar: Usually the budget controls how many people we can bring over. The group really is us two so if we are doing radio or instore we just play the two of us, but we love having the whole band, it´s just more dynamic.
Do you share the same inspirations?
Rósa: Sometimes we do and sometimes we don´t. Einar works alot with music so he likes going home and enjoys the silence or turns on the radio (BBC 4 kind of radio). I on the other hand am a DJ, so I am always listening to different stuff.
What inspired you to form Feldberg (music and otherwise)?
Einar: It just kind of happened. We decided meet up every Tuesday night and before we knew we had enough songs to make an album. We never really planned anything, it just came along naturally.
Do you have a set way of writing new songs?
Rósa: Usually Einar has a backing track and some vocal idea ready when I come in, then I babble some nonsense over and before we know we have the melody in place and we keep on going from there. At other times we just jam it on a piano or the guitar and just have fun.
Why has it taken two years to officially release your debut album, Don’t Be A Stranger, in the UK?
Einar: Once you have an album ready in Iceland you just press print and the album is in the shops a couple of weeks later. Then all the work with marketing, radio and singles starts. It´s kind of the other way in the UK. Here you do the work with marketing and so on beforehand. Smalltown America found our CD and decided to release it in the UK.
Read the Feldberg – Don’t Be A Stranger album review.