Live Concert Photography: Júníus Meyvant with Dougie Poole at Baby’s All Right 5/17/19
Born Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson, the acclaimed singer/songwriter and guitarist Júníus Meyvant grew up in a musical and religious household on Heimaey, the largest of the Westman Islands, a volcanic archipelago off Iceland’s southern coast that has a population of about 4,000. The island’s wild and rugged natured proved to be a great playground for an energetic and eccentric young Sigurmundsson; in fact, as a boy, he only loved two things — skateboarding and painting. As the story goes, Sigurmundsson occasionally would ask the muses if he should learn to play an instrument, but his wild nature curtailed his dreams, as he wound up getting expelled from music school. Interestingly, through most of his teens, he rambled on without even seriously considering becoming a musician — or playing an instrument.
When he was in his early 20s, Sigurmundsson stumbled upon a beat up guitar at his parents’ house and began noodling around with it. Playing the guitar gave him a much-needed sense of peace, and it inspired an uncontrollable urge to create music as much as possible; in fact, a constant flow of ideas kept him tossing and turning for countless days and nights. For a while, he wrote and performed in a band that didn’t quite live up to his vision — and he decided that it was time to go solo, in order to fulfill his vision.
With Júníus Meyvant, Sigurmundsson has received national and international attention for a soulful and sultry take on folk pop that has drawn comparisons to Sam Cooke, Charles Bradley, The Rolling Stones, Devendra Banhart and others. His debut single “Color Decay” received airplay and praise from the likes of KEXP, NPR and Gaffa, eventually leading to him winning two Icelandic Music Awards for Best Single and Newcomer of the Year. Building upon a growing international profile, Sigurmundsson made several successful tours across Europe and the States with appearances at Roskilde Festival and Bumbershoot Festival, which he then followed up with his full-length debut, 2016’s Floating Harmonies. 2018 saw the release of his sophomore album, Across the Borders.
Sigurmundsson and his backing band were on a short a Stateside tour to support Across the Borders and to build up buzz for his forthcoming follow up EP, Rearview Paradise EP, which will feature the slow-burning and soulful ballad “Ain’t Gonna Let You Down.” The tour featured a stop at Baby’s All Right last night, with New York-based country crooner Dougie Poole opening. Check out the photos below. Dougie Poole is a New York-based synth country singer, who opened the night with a laid back solo acoustic set of thoughtful, introspective songs.