While he may have seemed like a local Hamilton musician through residencies at venues like Gallagher’s, Lindy Vopnfjord will only become an official Hamiltonian this summer. We haven’t spoken to Lindy Vopnfjord since 2016 upon the release of his Frozen in Time album but with his seventh album, You Will Know When It’s Right, Vopnfjord has a lot of news to talk about.
“A lot has happened since last we spoke and probably the biggest thing was that I was contacted by Nydonsk, they’re like the Tragically Hip of Iceland, and they asked me to perform with them,” says Vopnfjord. “I thought I was just going to open for them but they said, ‘we want you to be a part of our show and we’ll learn a couple of your songs and you will learn a couple of our songs’. I did two sold out shows in Reykjavik to like 6000 people and it was an incredible warm welcome. Jesse, the bass player suggested that I come back and record an album with the band. I was so excited, when I was supposed to go back but I was diagnosed with pneumonia but I flew over anyway. We recorded this fantastic session but of course some months passed before my voice came back. I ended up recording the vocals in Toronto and did like 140 vocal tracks. I scrapped a lot of that and went back in and sung them like I was singing them live. It took a few months to finish the record back and forth between Canada and Iceland but it finally came out... and the single is gaining traction on Icelandic radio.”
Recorded in Iceland at Hljodriti Studio by Addi 800 (Bjork, Blur, Sigur Ros), Vopnfjord is joined by Daníel Ágúst Haraldsson (vocals), Björn Jörundur Fri?björnsson (bass), Ólafur Hólm Einarsson (drums and vocals), Jón Ólafsson (keyboards and vocals), and Stefán Hjörleifsson (electric guitar). Canada is also catching up to the uptempo rocking songs nestled somewhere between Bob Dylan’s early electric years and a Mott the Hoople vibe that are a bit of a departure from Vopnfjord’s more previous pensive acoustic presentation.
“It’s like somewhere between Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane” and Neil Young’s “Hurricane” — maybe it’s between two hurricanes,” laughs Vopnfjord. “I wrote all the songs and sent them to the band, I flew over and we recorded it in a few days but the band has been together for thirty years. Icelandic people grew up singing this band’s songs and in the studio they have a modus operandus that’s unique. The drummer played all the tracks in three and a half hours and we needed no corrections. It was so great. Everyone of the performances were just pure joy... I’ve been sending them new songs and we’re talking about doing another album.’
Nydonsk has become an integral part of Lindy’s current musical adventures — at least in Iceland but in Canada, he’s got a band that will help bring his music to the masses. This weekend, Lindy introduces his newest album to his future hometown.
“I married a Hamilton girl and had two beautiful children — I’ve been playing Hamilton for a while but I’ve never officially lived in Hamilton but I plan to be as the Toronto house will be sold by June,” says Vopnfjord. “Big changes are happening but I’m embracing them.
“I’m so stoked in bringing this band to Hamilton,” adds Vopnfjord. “Sigur Stella is an Icelandic singer taking the world by storm. Her voice and poetry is so incredibly powerful and haunting. And I used to play Gallagher’s regularly on Monday nights with Graham Peaceful for three years. I just love him so much and we’ve been such good friends for so long. He’s bringing his new band out and I hope it’s like old times and like new times for us. This show is going to be really fun. I think there will be a couple of softer numbers but this will be a full force frontal assault that’s going to be super fun on a Friday night. This is going to be a rock and roll show and I hope it’s a blast.”
Lindy Vopnfjord plays this Friday May 24 at This Ain’t Hollywood with Sigrun Stella and The Peacefulls. Doors open at 9pm and tickets are $12 in advance. Click on lindymusic.com