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SXSW 2013: Olafur Arnalds Shares His Top 5 ‘Can’t Miss’ Acts

Ólafur Arnalds
Marino Thorlacius

Musicians, of course, are music fans, too, and with South By Southwest 2013 just around the corner, we here at asked some of our favorite showcasing artists to share with us the acts they’re most looking forward to seeing this year in Austin. Among those we called on: Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds.

Born on the outskirts of Reykjavik, Arnalds cut his musical teeth playing drums in hardcore and metal bands before a gig penning instrumental passages for German metal outfit Heaven Shall Burn led to the release of his debut solo album, ‘Eulogy for Evolution,’ which paired neo-classical and piano compositions. A tour with Icelandic indie stars Sigur Ros followed in 2008, and ever since, Arnalds has been working on various collaborative projects en route to his third album, ‘Now I Am Winter,’ which dropped last month.

Arnalds has no fewer than five gigs lined up for this year’s SXSW, and you can get details of each and every one at his official website. While you are at it, check out his official music videos and a selection of live performance footage here, and then scroll down to read what he had to say about his five “can’t miss” SXSW 2013 artists.


Vampire Weekend



I missed them at Iceland Airwaves last year because, well, it was my birthday, and I had too much tequila. I have always wanted to see them.



Ásgeir Trausti



Maybe the only one on this list which I may actually be able to watch! As he is playing right before me at the Filter Showcase on Thursday. Been a long time fan of this Icelandic wunderkid and now he is premiering his songs in English.



The Flaming Lips



I have played a few festivals with them before but never actually managed to catch them. I don’t assume I will this time either. But hey, one can dream!



Mount Kimbie



Another one I missed at Iceland Airwaves. I like dancing, and I like samples and electronics. Sounds good to me.



Avi Avital



Amazing Mandolin player, classical artist on the same label as I am. Look forward to playing with him at the official Decca Label Showcase.


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