An adventure of band called 1860 began innocently. Óttar G. Birgisson and Hlynur Júni Hallgrímsson had played together in a rock band The Telepathetics. They got an idea to form another music project, this time they wanted to have fun with folk. The plan was to treat it like something small because it’s just a side-project. But it was fate that everything started to find its own place and situation rolled faster and faster so it turned out that finally 1860 took own unique shape and seemed like it grew even bigger than The Telepathetics. Now the band consists of five members – Andri Bjartur Jakobsson (drums), Gunnar Jónsson (bass, vocal), Jóhann Rúnar Þorgeirsson (electric guitar), Hlynur Júni Hallgrímsson (vocal & mandolin) and Óttar G. Birgisson (acoustic guitar, vocal). Some call them The Fleet Foxes of Iceland.
I usually divides music up in two groups. The first – music once heard which stays somewhere under my skull and will unexpectedly jump out some day and the second one – in which music immediately falls into a black hole of too many sounds that I hear every day. 1860 found its place definitely in the first mentioned group. I must admit, that their music can be really quick engraved in memory. In fact, the band comes from Reykjavík and started as a trio. Maybe it hasn’t turned world upside down yet but with its vocal harmonies, catchy melodies and choruses, which just beg to hum them, the group has capacity for it. On a debut album called Sagan, which was out in 2011, the guys hold on to their folk roots but are also not afraid of adding pop or indie rock elements. For almost whole concert of 1860 I hadn’t been able to get rid of thought that I haven’t seen a mandolinist on stage for years! So for sure it’s an advantage. Their influences are amongst others The Tallest Man on Earth, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Waits or Belle & Sebastian.
Their second release is coming in big steps and is promoted by a single titled Go Forth, which was out in May last year. But another song called Fathers Farm from upcoming album was premiered on air of Rás2 Icelandic radio in the beginning of March and Gunnar Már Jakobsson, known of Árstíðir, appeared in this composition as a guest – you can watch the video recording of this performance on Rás2 website. The second album of 1860 is coming soon!