Kælan Mikla, the creatrix queens of Icelandic darkwave, rip the hearts of the worlds’ darkest souls with their tragic exquisitry.
Kælan Mikla was founded in 2013 as an entry in a poetry competition. In the following years they continued to emerge and establish themselves as a solid part of the “Reykjavik” (Iceland) grassroots scene, from which they hail. In 2015, the song “Kalt” was released and attracted a lot of attention abroad. Subsequently, the band began performing with various well-known bands abroad. Over the past five years Kælan Mikla have travelled continuously and have released three LPs.
Consisting of Laufey Soffía (lead vocals), Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrýsdóttir (bass) and Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir (synthesizer), the trio creates a powerful wall of sound and beauty, at times filled with vengeance, and mostly, dark bliss. When I first heard their single “Kalt,” with that beautiful droning synth, perfect melody, brooding bass, and then those delightful screaming vocals, I fell in love.
Robert Smith, the front-man of The Cure is reportedly a big fan of the band, and booked Kælan Mikla to play at the various festivals he has curated, alongside other iconic bands including the Pixies, Slowdive, and Deftones, as well as having them solely open for the rock band Placebo.
Their song “Hvitir Sandar,” featuring Alcest (below), is nothing short of soul stirring, sonic perfection.
Following the release of their third LP, Nótt eftir nótt, they gained a large audience amongst fans of darkwave. Their powerful audiovisual adventure through their magical world is constantly evolving, and always leaves the crowd with unforgettable moments.
Kælan Mikla returned from a long tour with the French blackgaze band Alcest and are currently recording their fourth album which will mostly revolve around folklore and fairytales, drawing the band even deeper into their realm of magic and mysticism.
Kælan Mikla; discography
Kælan Mikla (2016)
Nótt eftir nótt (2018)
Undir köldum norðurljósum (2021)
The band is currently on some Midwest and East Coast tour dates, along with a stop in San Francisco with VV, for the Neon Noir Tour.
Subnormal magazine head the pleasure to meet Kælan Mikla in Los Angeles at the Substance music festival near the end of October of 2022. The following is that exclusive interview.
Special thanks to Kælan Mikla, Megan, Substance, Siouxsie, and Owen for making this happen.
All still and motion pictures used with kind courtesy.