I can positively say the three most beautiful places I have ever laid eyes on are Alaska, Scotland, and Iceland. There's just something about these kinds of cold, isolated, and dramatic landscapes that speaks to the soul. You can also witness nature at work firsthand; the way a glacier carves a valley through a mountain, or more alarmingly, the way ice retreats into the sea.
Art in the context of such overwhelming nature is always an interesting thing, which makes Iceland such a rich breeding ground for good, soul-stirring music. One of those bands we discovered this year was Kaleo
; an Icelandic folk-rock band who initially won us over with the sweet, wintered melodies of their breakthrough single, "All The Pretty Girls". They then blew us away with the soulful, American-inspired voodoo lurking in songs like "Broken Bones" and "Way Down We Go".
While the band now resides in America, the pull of their home country is obviously strong, as they've filmed some dramatic/inconceivable live videos in Iceland over the last couple of years. Back in the summer of 2015, the band filmed a live performance of "Way Down We Go" in
a volcano, which is obviously a pretty gonzo thing to do.
No surprise then that the whole thing was quite an undertaking. A helicopter delivered their gear to the mountain, band and crew walked 50 minutes to an elevator that delivered 18 people and 2 tons of equipment 420 feet down into the magma chamber...a total traveling time of 5 hours, by elevator alone.
Not to be outdone by the task, the band recently unveiled their latest session feat: recording on an iceberg floating in a glacial lagoon. Seriously. The band risked life and limb and thousands of dollars of beautiful equipment to make a surreal and otherworldly live video of their song, "Save Yourself".
Of course the whole thing teetered on the edge of actually working out. Passing fits of rain kept requiring the band to retreat to solid ground, and there was a little problem with the iceberg...shrinking. Somehow the band kept their wits about them throughout the entire process, which is impressive. The whole thing looks very insane and frankly, very dangerous.
But watching the videos from the comfort of our office in Brooklyn, we'll declare it was totally worth it guys! Keep it up! Seriously though, pairing such beautiful tunes with jaw-dropping scenery makes for some of the most compelling live video we've ever seen. Kudos to you, Kaleo.
Also, check out our session with the band, which is probably the safest performance these fellows have ever done.