Cover of Amiina's Lighthouse ProjectDespite having been in love with Sigur Ros for some 15 years now, I have to admit that it was only recently that I found out the string section they regularly employed on records and at concerts was not actually part of the band but a group in their own right. amiina has been around for quite some time – originally formed by four women at the Reykjavík College of Music in the late 1990s, they began collaborating with Sigur Ros in 1999 and put out their own first full length, Kurr, in 2007. Since then they have put out a number of singles and eps as well as three more albums. The most recent, skyjafletta, was released in November 2013.

Currently a sextet, the group employs traditional strings alongside electronic elements, musical saws, kalimbas, music boxes, and a slew of other instruments and objects turned into instruments. It all makes for beautifully textured music that I’ve found very conducive for working on my fiction.

Plus, they are the only band I’ve ever seen to have a tea towel for sale. Major points for that.

More on amiina: