Kaleo (band)

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Kaleo (stylized as KALEO) is an Icelandic rock band, which formed at Mosfellsbær in 2012; it consists of lead vocalist and guitarist JJ Julius Son, drummer David Antonsson, bassist Daniel Kristjansson, and lead guitarist Rubin Pollock. They have released two studio albums, Kaleo (2013) and A/B (2016), as well as an EP, Glasshouse (2013). A/B has sold over one million albums worldwide. One of the singles from A/B, "Way Down We Go", was certified double platinum in the US[1] and reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart on 20 August 2016.[2] Kaleo received a Grammy nomination in 2017 for Best Rock Performance for the song "No Good".[3]

Kaleo
Kaleo - During a concert in 2018
Kaleo - During a concert in 2018
Background information
OriginMosfellsbær, Iceland
Genres
Years active2012 (2012)–present
LabelsElektra
Websitewww.officialkaleo.com
Members
  • JJ Julius Son
  • David Antonsson
  • Daniel Kristjansson
  • Rubin Pollock
  • Þorleifur Gaukur Davíðsson

Julius Son is currently working on the follow-up to A/B, titled Surface Sounds on Elektra. Lead singles "I Want More" and "Break My Baby" were released on 15 January 2020.[4] The band's song "Alter Ego" was released on 13 March 2020. A fourth single, appearing on the album, "Backbone" was released on 17 April 2020.[5]

HistoryEdit

2012–2013: Early years and self-titled albumEdit

Best friends since attending elementary school outside of Reykjavik, band leader JJ Julius Son, drummer David Antonsson, and bassist Daniel Kristjansson began playing together at the age of 17 before adding guitarist Rubin Pollock to the mix in 2012. They named the band Kaleo, which means "the voice" in Hawaiian, and started their career with a handful of well-received shows at the 2012 Iceland Airwaves music festival, which was the band's first major public appearance.[6] Kaleo gained fame after covering the song "Vor í Vaglaskógi" which received heavy rotation on Icelandic state broadcaster RÚV's radio station Rás 2 and was featured on the station's top 10 list.[7] This song is also featured in the first episode of the TV series Trapped. By year's end, Kaleo had signed with Sena, the country's main record label. Their self-titled debut went gold in their home country, spawning five number one hits and inspiring their first European tour.[8]

2013–present: Major label record deal, departure to America, A/B and touringEdit

In 2014, the band gained further attention with their single "All the Pretty Girls", which garnered over 87 million streams on Spotify.[9] In early 2015, they signed with Atlantic Records[10] and subsequently relocated to Austin, Texas.[11] Throughout 2015, Kaleo received increasing attention in the United States. The band's South by Southwest (SXSW) debut in 2015 garnered press from Esquire's "40 Bands You Need to Hear"[12] as well as NPR's "The Austin 100: SXSW 2015 Feature and All Songs Considered SXSW 2015 Music Preview". "All the Pretty Girls" peaked at number 9 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart.[13]

Another three singles were released to promote their upcoming major label debut album A/B: "Way Down We Go", "No Good", and "I Can't Go On Without You". The single "Way Down We Go", was released on August 2015 and gained critical acclaim. The single was certified gold in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, South Africa and Germany, Platinum in Russia, Australia and the United States, and triple platinum in Canada. The single "No Good" was released shortly after and was featured in the promo for HBO's Vinyl.[14] The fourth single, "I Can't Go On Without You", was released on 18 February 2016.[15] The album was released worldwide later that year on 10 June 2016.[16]

The album peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200,[17] and the band embarked on a tour, the Handprint Tour,[18] in order to promote it. The tour began on 11 September 2016 and concluded on 30 November 2016. The band embarked on a second tour, the fall Express Tour,[19] which started on 25 August 2017 in Anaheim, California and ended on 25 November in Moscow, Russia.

GenreEdit

Kaleo's music mainly focuses on indie and alternative rock music with elements of Icelandic folk music and blues rock. In an interview with Rolling Stone, frontman JJ Julius Son explained, "Growing up I was listening to a lot of American music and blues artists and such and that was what kind of connected us."[20][21] Their blues influences are mainly drawn from Delta blues which was the target for some of the heavier songs in their album A/B. Their music prominently features a distinctive resonator sound.

Television appearancesEdit

The group has made multiple appearances on late night television shows including Conan,[22] Jimmy Kimmel Live![23] Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.[24][citation needed] Their songs have been heard on many other television shows including Orange Is the New Black, Blindspot, Suits, Vinyl, Grey's Anatomy, Riverdale, Empire, The Leftovers, Frequency, Supergirl, Lucifer, Longmire, The Vampire Diaries, Frontier, The Blacklist, Bering Sea Gold, and The Good Fight. "Way Down We Go" was featured in a no7 Skincare ad in the UK[25] and in the second trailer for the film Logan.

Use in mediaEdit

Kaleo's "Way Down We Go" was featured in the film Logan,[26] while "Automobile" was used in Collateral Beauty.[27]

Several Kaleo songs including "Way Down We Go", "Hot Blood", "No Good", "All the Pretty Girls" and "Glass House" have been featured in FIFA 16,[28] Madden NFL 17,[29] NHL 18,[30] Far Cry 5,[31] The Crew 2,[32] Rocksmith 2014[33] and Asphalt 9: Legends.[34] Way Down We Go was used in the conclusion of Season 2 Episode 5 of the show Manifest, Season 5 finale of the show Suits as well as the conclusion of Season 16 Episode 22 of the show NCIS.[35] Their song 'Break my Baby' features in the video game MLB The Show 20.

MembersEdit

The band is made up of:[36]

  • JJ Julius Son (Icelandic name: Jökull Júlíusson) – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
  • Rubin Pollock – lead guitar
  • Daníel Ægir Kristjánsson – bass, keyboard[37][38]
  • Davíð Antonsson – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Þorleifur Gaukur Davíðsson – harmonica, bongos, keyboard[39]

DiscographyEdit

AlbumsEdit

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications shown
Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
AUS
[40]
AUT
[41]
BEL
(FL)
[42]
BEL
(WA)
[43]
CAN
[44]
FRA
[45]
GER
[46]
HUN
[47]
IRL
[48]
NZ
[49]
SWI
[50]
UK
[51]
US
[52]
Kaleo
A/B 29 27 21 31 2 28 9 19 17 15 6 27 16
Surface Sounds
  • Scheduled: TBA
  • Label: Elektra
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
To be released
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

SinglesEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
AUS
[56]
BEL
[57]
CAN
[58]
CAN
Rock

[59]
FRA
[60]
GER
[61]
US
[62]
US
Alt.

[63]
US
Main.

[64]
US
Rock

[65]
UK
[66]
"Vor í Vaglaskógi" 2013 Kaleo
"Rock n' Roller"
"Glass House" 35
"Automobile"
"Broken Bones"
"I Walk On Water" 2014
"All the Pretty Girls" [A] 17 24 A/B
"Way Down We Go" 2015 30 8 60 8 4 6 54 1 23 5 96
"No Good" 3 9
"I Can't Go On Without You" 2016
"I Want More"[72] 2020 31 25 Surface Sounds
"Break My Baby"[72] 29 36
"Alter Ego"[73]
"Backbone"[74]

Music videosEdit

Title Year Director(s)
"Vor í Vaglaskógi" 2013 Baldvin Vernharðsson, Hörður Freyr Brynjarsson[75]
"Rock n' Roller"" Hörður Freyr Brynjarsson[76]
"All The Pretty Girls" 2014 Baldvin Vernharðson, Davíð Antonsson Crivello, Pétur Már Pétursson[77]
"Way Down We Go" 2016 Shaun Silva[78]
"No Good" Hörður Freyr Brynjarsson[79]

AwardsEdit

  • No Good
- Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance

ToursEdit

  • Opened for Vance Joy in Autumn 2015.[80]
  • SXSW 2015 – Debut included performances at Pandora’s Discovery Den, KGSR, Neiman Marcus Make Some Noise, and more.[81]
  • 2016 – Byron Bay Bluesfest
  • 2016 – "Way Down We Go" Tour ft. "Dizzy" Daniel Moorehead
  • 2016–2017 – Kaleo Handprint Tour
  • 2017 – Opened for The Lumineers Cleopatra Tour
  • 2017.09.09 – Opened for The Rolling Stones (in Hamburg)
  • 2017 – Kaleo Express Tour

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "All the Pretty Girls" did not enter the Ultratop 50, but peaked at number 30 on the Flemish Ultratip chart.[57]

ReferencesEdit

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