Ampop is an Icelandic melodic-pop/rock band from Reykjavík, Iceland. Founded in 1998 by Kjartan F. Olafsson and Biggi Hilmarsson, the name of the band is actually the name of the first song they ever wrote, and is made from the words ambient and pop, which they thought was the definition of the music they were making at that time.
The band was originally a duo, but before making their third album they added a drummer to the band. The band currently consists of 3 members:
Biggi Hilmarsson: Guitar, vocals,
Kjartan F. Olafsson: keyboards,
Jón Geir Jóhansson: drums,
Those in the know will have first come across the band through their two critically acclaimed electronic based albums released in their homeland. The second of these ("Made for Market") was considered by many local critics the best Icelandic album of 2003. Their one supporter outside Iceland was John Peel.
Keen to develop their sound the band bunkered down in their own studio and over time developed a more organic and song based direction moving away from the more electronic influences of their earlier material. The first examples of the band's new direction were demo versions of two songs, "My Delusions" and "Don't let me down" which saw the light of day early in 2005. These tracks were instantly picked up on by Radio 1's; Zane Lowe who played "My delusions" on several occasions and invited the band to play live on his show from Austin, Texas, during this year's SXSW music festival. AMPOP played alongside The Bravery, Hot Hot Heat, The Blood Arm and Queens of the Stone Age as the only unsigned band.
Other important DJs such as Huw Stephens and Vic Galloway at Radio 1, or Vic McGlynn at BBC 6 Music have also put the stamp of approval to the new songs and have championed the band in their radio shows.
After the successful appearance at SXSW the band went back to their studio to finish the album, stopping only to play in NY and the NXNE festival in Toronto. The first single off the new album, "My delusions", gets a UK release via Relentless Records imprint Stimulus Records, who spotted the band live in Austin, on November the 28th.
The band has been invited to support KT Tunstall in Aberdeen on October the 4 th at a Radio 2 event, and will be playing London next to launch the single on November the 28 th at Islington Bar Academy.
Meanwhile, back in Iceland, the brand new album, "My delusions", is now out via Dennis Records/Sena and is getting rave reviews and extensive radio play.
Since 2007 AMPOP has been on hiatus.
In 2008 frontman *1 Biggi Hilmarsson created and launched in the UK his new concept *2 Blindfold, composed of four young Alternative Indie Rockers who are taking the UK music scene by storm with their genre defying music' Cinematic Indie-Rock ' that has wide appeal and success across Film, TV and Advertising.
2009 sees them releasing their second stunning album as a more commercial follow up to the sonic soundscapes of the debut album 'Blindfold '.
' Faking Dreams' has been carefully crafted and with guidance and under artist management with JC Caddy of *3 UFMG Founder of new creative label *[4'CinePop Records'] will see them reach new heights.
Biggi Hilmarsson is leading the way, not only as the new breed of young Icelandic composer/writers crossing genres and sounds but who is keeping melody and strong song writing at the heart making it accessible to listeners across the spectrum.
In 2011 Kjartan released his eponymous solo debut as Kjarr. It's rather psychedelic,layered sound and ethereal vocal harmonies was said to recall such bands as The High Llamas and The Beach Boys, while fans have mentioned similarities to more contemporary acts such as Beach House and Real Estate. While based in Scotland Kjarr has attracted the attention and admiration of influential Scottish DJ's, Vic Galloway and Jim Gellatly. Kjartan has also lend his talent to other projects, taking on the keyboard duties with acclaimed Icelandic rockers, Leaves, in 2009. He also does vocals on the album "Love in times of repetition" by Icelandic electronica duo Asonat (2012).
Jón Geir currently plays drums with a number of acts, the most noticeable one being Icelandic Viking Metal band, Skálmöld.