22.11.2022 // 20:00
The gentle but strangely coarse and decadent Troubadour Svavar Knútur’s roots lie in the eastern and northern fjords of Iceland, known for their respective melancholic poetry and rugged gruffness. Svavar Knútur summons his inner demons and outer storms to reflect upon the existential crises and frolicking joys of modern day rustic fjord dwelling folk.
In perfect harmony with his vocation as a lifelong nonconformist, ever dismantling cringe inducing myths and post-colonial gentle-savage stereotypes about his either “viking champions” or “elfish and magical” people and country, the eclectic musician has in recent years blossomed into a serene and sublime singer and songwriter. Knutur's songs of misery and redemption deliver a healthy dose of hope in the midst of despair. A humorous storyteller and avid diver into the murky waters of the human condition, Svavar Knútur, sows and reaps a fitting mixture of art and entertainment.
Drawing upon a wide range of influences, in recent years, Svavar Knútur’s melodic and general musical inspiration has been drawn from the internal melodies and rhythms of his native language, Icelandic. As Iceland doesn’t have a lot of heritage when it comes to instruments, the main folk “instrument” of Iceland is actually the poetry and using the shapes and sounds of words as musical elements.
Knutur's songwriting has not gone unnoticed internationally, as his song Astarsaga ur fjollunum (Love story from the mountains) propelled his former band Hraun to participate in the final 5 competition on BBC World Service's Next big thing, playing for millions of viewers and listeners all over the world. Knutur released two albums with Hraun, where he was the main songwriter.
Svavar has released five solo albums over his career, spanning just over a decade, featuring collaborations with Czech singer/songwriter Marketa Irglóvá, along with some Icelandic fellow artists. All of Svavar Knútur’s albums have resonated well with his listeners and contributed to a steady growth in popularity, both in Iceland and internationally.
In 2018, Svavar Knútur released the first part of a larger project called Ahoy. The album, Ahoy! Side A, featured five new and four repainted songs. An eclectic mix of songs, all exposing different sides of Svavar's sometimes mercurial, but ever loving attitude to life and the world. The album landed Svavar Knútur two nominations for the Icelandic Music Awards, one for Best album and one for Singer of the year. Ahoy! side A was followed by 2020’s Bil (Between) EP, featuring acoustic versions of some of Svavar’s more band heavy songs. The second part of Ahoy!, Ahoy Side B is slated to be released in 2022.
His album art is a collaboration with his young daughter Dagbjört Lilja, an ever developing series of portraits of the artist.
Svavar Knútur has in the recent years toured Australia, the U.S.A., Canada, Great Britain and Europe extensively and is resolved to keep up the pace. He was also an active participant in the 2020 international project Global Music Match.
Svavar is also the first recipient of the Anna Pálína Árnadóttir memorial award for folk music excellence in Iceland. The award was in recognition for Svavar’s continued exploration of new waters in modern folk music both lyrically and musically, a tireless effort to bring older folk music to young audiences and for his continous work on helping out young and emerging artists.
In 2020, Svavar Knútur was a prominent participant in the Global Music Match, an international initiative, bringing together artists from around the world in collaborations and mutual creative work
“A night with Svavar will bring you to hell and back, and you’ll be smiling and laughing all the way.” - Pete Uhlenbruch, Australian musician and music blogger