After being one of the most talked-about bands all over Europe, due in no small part to their energetic and engaging live show, Reykjavik’s FM Belfast are set to release their debut album in the US, how to make friends. Due out in Spring 2010 on Kimi Records (Benni Hemm Hemm, Retro Stefson, Reykjavik!), how to make friends is a careening electro-pop album full of unexpected jolts and turns, including trumpets, cowbells, and plenty of seething synths. After a local release, how to make friends sold over 5,000 copies in Iceland, and with it the band is poised to bring the party to the states.
What started as an informal duo in 2005 has developed into a sizable army of anywhere from 3 to 45 performers (including members of múm and Benni Hemm Hemm). Despite not having an album out in the US last year, FM Belfast became a must-see band at SXSW ’09, giving out sticks of gum and drawings with their CDs and playing to packed venues. The Austin Chronicle listed them as one of their “Bands to Watch,” while the Denver Post named them one of the “Top 10 New Finds”, calling them “one of the most refreshing” bands at SXSW. SPIN soon joined the bandwagon, making them “Artist of the Day” and proclaiming, “It’s gloriously kitschy, Commodore-64-style digipop… kind of like a low-fi version of Royksopp.” The BBC enthused, “Last night I got as excited by a new band as I’ve ever been in my life… FM Belfast are utterly fantastic.”
In the meantime, FM Belfast kept busy remixing tracks for other artists including múm, Retro Stefson, Skatar, Nix Noltes, Gus Gus, and Kasper Bjorke. After years of playing their songs to live audiences, FM Belfast is set to expand their reach with how to make friends.
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