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Alive After Five: Kaleo, June 1

Icelandic indie folk at the Basque Block


JJ Julius Son might have met two of his three bandmates as gradeschoolers in their hometown outside Reykjavik, but he sounds like he's from Iceland by way of Arkansas. On "Way Down We Go," Julius Son belts out a trudging blues march with vocals that leap from baritone growls to gravelly Southern-tinged wails to yelps that sound like they were learned in the holler.

A listener would be hard pressed to peg an "Icelandic influence" to Kaleo's amalgam of indie folk, rock and blues, but there is something buried in Kaleo's sound that undeniably sets it apart from its American counterparts. It might be that the band, now based in Austin, creates something like a super-refined dose of everything audiences love about its stated influences but without the genres' formulae.