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The best kept secret in music


"NME single review - Dark days"

Listen closely and you can just about hear the northern lights change color . Its gloomy and ice swept , there can surely be no better soundtrack to cooking and eating a new friend you've just made on the internet. - NME

"Drowned in sound single review - Dark days"

Eliza is back with her newest prodject and this time round things are looking ever brighter for her . this is the bands debut single and has all the charm of her former band (Bellatrix) but with a harder edge.Dark days has the folky violins throughout but the strongest point of the band really is the vocal power that Eliza possess;
Iceland has provided us with some damn fine bands in the past like Bjork , Gusgus, Sigur r'os and Bellatrix . Skandinavia could be set to add to that list to help put Iceland on the musical map. -

"Logo magazine single review"

Skandinavia are even more out there than Bellatrix , unashamedly grabbing the high-octane classical riffage of Zeppelin's 'Kashmir' , the pomp of HIM and the grandeur of Sigur ros and somehow , dont ask how , forcing it all to co-exist in an existential stew of opposites that definitely attract. - Logo Magazine


Dark days - single out on Global Warming UK.
Never too late single - released 09/07/04 on Global Warming UK.
'Never too late' is playlisted on :
listen to ' Dark days ' on :


Feeling a bit camera shy



Skandinavia is the brain child of Eliza Newman, once the enigmatic, front woman of Icelandic band Bellatrix.

Eliza grew up in the tiny fishing village of Keflavik Iceland, where she learned to play violin at the local music school. It was here in 1992, she formed Bellatrix with three school friends, recording three albums in their native tongue, and playing countless gigs across America & Europe. Bellatrix signed to Global Warming in 1998, releasing their debut mini album ‘G’ to critical acclaim. A subsequent deal with Fierce Panda/Mushroom spawned a string of singles, most notably ‘Jediwannabe’ taken from the album ‘It’s All True’, released in 2000. Bellatrix split in 2001 for a myriad of reasons including record company wrangles, and living in a strange land far from home.

Yet, Eliza remained in London, having moved there originally with Bellatrix. It was here the first seeds of Skandinavia were sown growing into a musically much more harder hitting beast then its predecessor. Yet, Skandinavia are influenced as much by Abba as they are Led Zeppelin tipping a wink to an illustrious line of female singer songwriters, Kate Bush and PJ Harvey chief among them.

“The whole theme is completely born out of my imagination”, says Eliza, “I wanted to do a solo thing originally but decided on something much more grand. I wanted people with me.” These people are the brilliant guitarist Claire Wakeman and the hard hitting rhythm section of Martin Maddaford, formerly of Crashland, on bass, and David Collinder on drums.

An early demo featured Dan Hawkins of The Darkness fame on guitar. A deal followed with Global Warming Records, the first fruits of which were the hard hitting single ‘Dark Days’. Released in December 2003, Drowned In Sound proclaimed it “could help put Iceland on the musical map” while the NME described it as “Perfect music to eat your friends to”!

Skandinavia’s new single ‘Never Too Late’, is a neo classical slice of powerhouse rock taken from the band’s forthcoming, eponymous, debut album. Of the album, Eliza says the songs are about “Love, power, sex, loss, and sorrow” and of “Being away from home, in a way it’s kind of like a homage to Iceland.” It’s also steeped in Nordic mythology, especially the anthemic ‘Valkyria’. In Norse mythology Valkyries are maidens who chose which slain warriors on a battlefield are transported to Valhalla. So now you know! Yet, ‘Skandinavia’, due for release in September 2004, is also a beautiful album, typified by the haunting ‘Swim’, a song Eliza is especially proud of given its understated nature.

Prepare to be enchanted then by Skandinavia’s bewitching blend of hard rock, strong melodies, powerful vocals and ethereal violin, a potent mix certain to leave the listener spell bound.