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JU'NI'US MEYVANT
with Devon Gilfillian

Songbyrd Presents
Downstairs, All Ages


DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM

$16 / $18
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Songbyrd Presents

Monday May 13, 2019

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Westman Islands raised and born musician Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson has been releasing music under the Júníus Meyvant moniker for years

Unnar was somewhat brought up in a musical and religious household in Heimaey which is the largest of the volcanic archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The island’s microscopic population (mere four thousand) and wild and rugged nature was a great playground for the energetic Unnar. As a young boy he was an eccentric to a small degree who spent most of his time skateboarding and making paintings. From time to time he asked the Muses if he should learn to play an instrument, but his impetuous and free behavior terminated his dreams as he was quickly suspended out of music school. All through his teens he rambled on without even considering becoming a musician or even playing any instrument.

In his early twenties Unnar stumbled upon a beat-up guitar at his parents’ house and started noodling around. By playing the guitar he managed to tame his inner beast and his sense for songs and melodies burst like rockets. The uncontrollable urge for writing music and constant flow of ideas kept him tossing and turning every night and day forever and a day. For a while he filtered his ideas through a band that didn’t live up to his creative requirements, so he decided to undertake his alter ego Júníus Meyvant.


Júníus Meyvant’s afflicted, concise, melodic and rich take on freaky folk pop has a highly familiar and soulful feel to it and a hint of attitude. Júníus’ wide sound pallet is all embracing and made up with his sultry voice, sizzling guitars, pummeling rhythms topped with washes of horns, synths and mellotron. Drawing comparisons to Sam Cooke, Charles Bradley, The Rolling Stones and Devendra Banhart the thirty something musician has a few singles, one EP and one LP under his sleeve.

2014 was the year he premiered his award winning and critically acclaimed debut single “Color Decay” via Record Records. The single garnered much praise in his homeland and furthermore in international publications such as KEXP, NPR and Gaffa. In the following year Júníus received the Icelandic Music Awards for the Best Single and Newcomer of the Year. After successful tours in Europe and the US (including performances at Roskilde Festival in Denmark and Bumbershoot in Seattle) Júníus released his debut full length, Floating Harmonies, in 2016.

In the year 2018 Júníus finished the making of his sophomore album, Across the Borders, with musician and engineer Guðmundur Kristinn Jónsson (Erlend Oye, Ásgeir, Hjálmar) in Hljóðriti Studio. The eleven- track album is released by Record Records.

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Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar, and the powerful punch of Gilfillian'svoice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist.

Raised by a musical family, Gilfillian grew up singing. He took up the electric guitar at 14 years old, kickstarting a fascination with classic rock and other sounds from an older generation. By the time college rolled around, Gilfillian was playing three-hour shows in a local cover band, performing songs by the Meters one minute and the Beatles the next. The gigs allowed him to explore the full range of his influences, but Gilfillian wanted to play his own music, too. With that in mind, he moved to Nashville, eager to chase down his own muse.

Released in May 2016, the self-titledDevon Gilfillianfinds him stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist. He recorded the songs with a small group of friends and collaborators, tapping drummer Jonathan Smalt and slide guitarist Jesse Thompson as co-producers. Equal parts swampy, funky, and enthralling, the record finds Gilfillian planting one foot in the classic sound of his influences, with the other foot pointing somewhere new and uncharted. After all, he's no revivalist. No nostalgia act. No retro wannabe. Instead, Gilfillian is a classic artist for the modern age, discovering new life in soulful sounds that have been making people dance for decades.