Looking to Book Kaleo?
Iceland’s KALEO make soulful blues- and folk-infused anthems centered on lead singer Jökull Júlíusson’s smoky vocals. Since emerging to viral fame in 2012 with their song “Vor í Vaglaskógi,” they have earned a global audience, drawing favorable comparisons to artists like Hozier and Ray LaMontagne. Their debut, 2013’s KALEO, was a break-out success, spawning several more hits that went gold. They gained wider attention with their 2016 sophomore album A/B, which cracked the Billboard 200. A bigger, more rock-driven sound characterized KALEO’s 2021 release, Surface Sounds.
Formed in 2012 in the town of Mosfellsbær, just outside of Reykjavik, KALEO (a Hawaiian word that translates to “the sound”) originally featured childhood friends Jökull Júlíusson (vocals, guitar), Davíð Antonsson (drums), and Daníel Ægir Kristjánsson (bass). They began playing together as teenagers, later adding guitarist Rubin Pollock to the mix. Inspired by a blend of blues, folk, country, and rock, they made their live debut in 2012 at the Icelandic Airwaves’ music festival and recorded their first singles the following year. Their live radio performance of the traditional Icelandic tune “Vor í Vaglaskógi” became a surprise regional hit, and the video went viral in 2013. By year’s end, KALEO had signed with Sena, the country’s largest record label. Their debut, 2013’s eponymous KALEO), went gold in their home country, spawning five number one hits and inspiring their first European tour.
Kaleo received a Grammy nomination in 2017 for Best Rock Performance for the song “No Good”.