London N1 9JB
1A Camden High Street
London NW1 7JE
The Lexington, 26/2, 7.30pm
KOKO, 27/2, 10pm
This month, Øya is paying a pre-festival visit to London, with a twinset of gigs from two of the artists taking part: singer and bassist Maya Vik and singer-songwriter polymath Farao. The pair share a set at Islington’s Lexington followed by a show at Camden’s Koko the next evening, hosted in association with Parallel Lines and Club NME, respectively.
A gifted bass player with a talent for infectious pop vocals, Maya Vik is a star on the ascent. The New York Times credited her with ‘summoning the 1980s Minneapolis funk of Prince and Janet Jackson’ and her breathily energetic brand of electronic dance music (teamed with one of the most impressive coiffures since Solange Knowles) is already making waves on the international club scene.
Valdres-born London resident Farao (aka Kari Jahnsen) offers a mellow, folky, and unmistakeably Nordic counterpoint. Her mix of soothing, melancholic melody, wistful guitar and electronic textures conveys a rich, cold-weather ambience (perhaps best described as ‘music to wear scarves to’) that made her one of the most talked-about artists of last year’s festival. At the Lexington gig on the 26th, Vik and Farao are joined by Manchester’s rickety-garage four-piece Spring King, promising an evening of captivating, genre-hopping contemporary music.
So if you can’t make Øya this year, or just want a taster of the tunes to come, these are the gigs to go to.