Artist: FM Belfast

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Nordic Music Prize 2011 semi-finalists

The semi-finalists for the 2011 Nordic Music Prize have been revealed:

Anna Ternheim - The night visitor
Jonathan Johansson - Klagomuren
Loney Dear - Hall music
The Field - Looping state of mind
Mattias Alkberg - Anarkist
Lykke Li - Wounded rhymes
Anna Jrvinen - Anna sjlv tredje
Deportees - Islands & shores
Veronica Maggio - Satan i gatan
Goran Kajfes - X/Y

Larsen & Furious Jane - Dolly
Michael Mller - A Month of Unrequited Love
Oh Land - Oh Land
Mikael Simpson - Noget Laant, Noget Blaat
The Late Great Fitzcarraldos - The Late Great Fitzcarraldos
Malk De Koijn - Toback To The Fromtime
Iceage - New Brigade
Thulebasen - Gate 5
When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie
Hymns From Nineveh - Hymns From Nineveh

Von Hertzen Brothers - Stars Aligned
Ryhk & Mattila - Kaksi lensi tuulen mukaan
22-Pistepirkko - Lime Green Delorean
French Films - Imaginary Future
Siinai - Olympic Games
Rubik - Solar
Regina - Soita mulle
Michael Monroe - Sensory Overdrive
Mirel Wagner - Mirel Wagner
Chisu - Kun valaistun

Sley - We Sink
Lay Low - Brostinn strengur
Ham - Svik, harmur og daui
Sin Fang - Summer Echoes
FM Belfast - Dont Want To Sleep
Gus Gus - Arabian Horse
Mugison - Hagll
Bjrk - Biophilia
Apparat Organ Quartet - Plfna

Razika - Program 91
Lars Vaular - Du betyr meg
Jonas Alaska - Jonas Alaska
Team Me - To The Treetops!
Ane Brun - It All Starts With One
Stein Torleif Bjella - Vonde Visu
120 Days - 120 Days II
Monte - Renditions Of You
John Olav Nilsen og Gjengen - Det nrmeste du kommer
Martin Hagfors - I like you

This list will eventually be culled down to a final 12 on December 1 before the winner is crowned on February 16.

MP3: Dikta - Thank you

The 4th volume of Iceland Music Export's "Made in Iceland" compilation series is out and, as always, it features a wide selection of artists including a few you may know (FM Belfast, Sin Fang, lf Arnalds, Rkkurr, etc.) plus at least a couple you may not. All have released albums recently and are touring at home and abroad and, who knows? Maybe even a few will surprise you by not conforming to your usual expectations of Icelandic music -- I can tell you that this Dikta track certainly defies my prejudices. No ambient soundscapes, no other-worldly vocal swoops, no precious tweeness -- just straight-up solid, friendly pop/rock. Nothing wrong with that at all.
For more info, check out the comp's official microsite where they have the whole thing available for streaming:

Dikta - Thank you

FM Belfast - I don't want to go to sleep either (video)

Something new from Iceland's FM Belfast. Direct link:

Morr to release new FM Belfast

Icelandic act FM Belfast have signed to for the release of their new album "Don't want to sleep", due out in June. The first single "Underwear" is already available digitally and will be released as a 7" on March 25.

First draft picks for SXSW 2011

Early confirmations for SXSW 2011 include Alcoholic Faith Mission, Giana Factory, FM Belfast, Spleen United, WhoMadeWho and Those Dancing Days. Full list:

Festival report: SPOT Festival, rhus, days two and three

FM Belfast - How to make friendsFM Belfast
How to make friends


FM Belfast's debut full-length "How to make friends" is a breathless up-yours to any expectation of the (near) clich ethereal Icelandic sound. Concerning themselves, not with glacially moving soundscapes, but with pulsating dance floors, the Reykjavk quartet stomp though eleven tracks with a dedication to disco-fueled outlandish fun that's likely to make Scissor Sisters jealous. In the case of tracks such as "Par avion", "Underwear", and "VHS", their horn and drum machine-backed high-octane determination goes down with a delicious hook and subversive wink.

However, FM Belfast refuses to simply rest on their outsider status -- piling on layer after layer off-kilter synth, pushing askew melodies a bit further off-center. By album mid-point, their more-is-more approach to quirk grows wearing, dragging down what could undoubtedly have been classic n-disco cuts. Instead of answering our burning questions -- namely, does the world really need another cover of Technotronic's "Pump"? -- tracks "Synthia" and "President" close out the album with shouting, odd layers, and the world's most awkward rap. Probably not the best way to make friends, but I'm willing to give this relationship a second try if you are.
- Laura Studarus

PopMatters reviews FM Belfast

PopMatters reviews the American release of the FM Belfast album "How to make friends":

FM Belfast album to get US release

Icelandic artist FM Belfast will finally have their debut album "How to make friends" given a proper US release this spring via . Download the single "Par avion":

Feature: Iceland's new heroes