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Kælan Mikla: Dangerous Lolitas, witchcraft, and synthesizers

Videostill from the video

From the beginning, this trio´s music has carried a supernatural charge: a chiming angry, high pitch voice is enough to make our hairs on your arm stand on end, as though you had been visited by a ghost. The idea of Kælan Mikla, punk, no-wave three-piece band from Iceland is a kind of almost other-worldly, dark, and moody music with strong basses and melancholic melodies alternated to spoken or screamed parts, and soft synths. Aspects that we find reinforced in the track “NÓTT EFTIR NÓTT”.
If anything, the choice of the new video for the song feels like perfection: low budget yet still striking visuals, that recall at the same time the British black-and-white science fiction, horror movie Children of the Damned (1964) and newer horror movies like The Blair Witch Project. This was the original handheld camera movie that made it look like footage accidentally caught by amateur witch hunters and the same technique used in the still very effective representation of the song´s spirit. The atmosphere recalls The Cure´s “A forest”, while the slow beat reminds me of the German band Fliehende Stürme, in particular, “Himmel steht still” although here there is more avant-garde, and more experimental vibe. No wonder they had been chosen by Robert Smith for the Meltdown Festival in London one year ago opening for Placebo.
More than merely atmospheric, vivid sonics and imagistic melodies tend to conjure entire worlds: we are instantly transported to a world of heavy black skies, visiting black crows, velvet mites, and whispering dark forests. Three witches, Laufey Soffía, Margrét Rósa, Sólveig Matthildur, are to be seen in the video as well, sweet-teens like look, yet they appear more like dangerous Lolitas who are used to play with voodoo dolls. Sólveig Matthildur was also one of THEDARMONDAY´s guest DJs in 2018, invited by founder DJ Ørlög at the Duncker Club in Berlin.
The girls are definitely talking to us, clearly articulated almost menacing words, speak to the listener. Indeed the lyrics play an important role in Kælan Mikla´s music. The band met thanks to a common interest in poetry and won a Slam Poetry competition in 2013. They recently completed a 30-date tour in Europe, in support of their Artoffact Records release Nótt eftir nótt.
More dates for 2019 include Wave-Gothic-Treffen in Leipzig.
Article by Valentina Ferrarese
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