Great things often come from humble beginnings. From recording lo-fi pop songs in a run-down house on the East side of Iceland, electronic pop quartet Bloodgroup have blossomed into one of the most well-known Icelandic acts of recent times via their indelible, moody melodies and searing live performances.
Following on the heels of a well-received debut, their second album "Dry Land" was hailed by homeland critics as one of the finest albums of 2009, and awarded the Icelandic equivalent of the Mercury prize, the Kraumur award.
The band toured the album relentlessly over the next two years, taking their widescreen stage show to SXSW in Texas, NXNE in Toronto, Roskilde in Denmark, CMJ in New York, Eurosonic in the Netherlands and, of course, Iceland Airwaves.
In 2012, they returned to the studio, full of new ideas and more ambitious than ever. Now the results are here in an album that will perhaps be considered their magnum opus. "Tracing Echoes" is a highly-developed mixture of majestic ballads, grinding beats, and a pop single or three for good measure.
This simmering set of electro, pop and dance music has drawn positively early comparisons to groundbreaking acts such as The Knife and Portishead, but Bloodgroup's combination of sharp songwriting and crystalline production is entirely their own. The UK's Guardian newspaper said of new single, "Fall", "perhaps where Bloodgroup stand apart from their influences is in their big pop melodies - for all their sonic experimentation, it's the gorgeous rush of the final chorus that makes the song soar".
Word has gotten out that Bloodgroup have hit their stride. On the back of a show-stealing Airwaves performance came a management contract with UK/IS firm Projekta, quickly followed by a worldwide record deal with Kompakt-affiliated US label Sugarcane Recordings (Hot Chip, David Lynch, Azari & III), expanding the reach of their existing deal with German label AdP.
The band are currently preparing to capitalise on this momentum with an extensive European tour, to be announced soon.
Pop music is about to get a transfusion: 2013 is Bloodgroup's year.