Fufanu & AUÐUR Release Debut Albums
February 3rd, 2017 | New Releases
It’s a big day in the releasing of debut albums day! Two hotly tipped young guns have finally delivered their albums into the world, of course, it’s the one and only Fufanu and that boy wonder Auður! Two very very different albums, both excellent acts.
Fufanu – ‘Sports’
Huge, great, bleak towers of sound. Nimble rhythmic undercurrents. The unlikely ghosts of both post-punk and techno. Nobody sounds like Fufanu,but 18 months on from their hugely acclaimed 2015 debut, ‘A Few More Days To Go’, the Icelandic trio’s eagerly-anticipated second album, ‘Sports’ sees the band return with a palpable sense of urgency and a fresh spin on their dark, new-wave-esq electronic-driven post-punk. Produced in Iceland by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, agitated, brooding singles ‘Bad Rockets’ and title track ‘Sports’ dropped in 2016 to a fantastic critical reception. Now, Line of Best Fit have revealed the album in its entirety, two days before it’s official 3rd Feb release on One Little Indian Records.
For 2017, Fufanu are changing – “growing up” – as multi-instrumentalist and lead guitarist Guðlaugur (“Gulli”) Einarsson calls it. ‘Sports’ employs driving grooves, stand-out pop melodies – occasionally reminiscent of Krautrock legends Neu! – and sophisticated arrangements. The follow-up album reflects their experiences during a hurricane two years, in which they have rocketed from making a big splash at the 2014 Airwaves festival in Reykjavik, to touring the UK with The Vaccines, to playing with fan Damon Albarn at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall and even supporting the Blur singer’s legendary group at a huge event at London’s Hyde Park.
One thing Sports does retain from A Few More Days To Go, though, is Kaktus’s knack for writing compelling, enigmatic words. “I think that’s quite important,” considers Kaktus. “When writing lyrics, I could spell everything out and tell the story, but it’s healthier to take time and really dig into the lyrics, so that people can take their own experiences out of it.”
Thus, ‘Sports’ isn’t about sports at all.
“It could be about getting really obsessed with a chocolate brownie, or it could be about a boy or girl and being obsessed with getting them on your side,” says Kaktus, enigmatically. And what of the striking undercurrent of melancholy than runs through Fufanu’s music like a rich seam of precious metal? Where does that come from?
“I don’t actually know,” admits the singer. “I am a really happy guy. I’d love to say. ‘Oh, it’s a typical Iceland thing. It’s the darkness, the volcanoes, but although I love the darkness in the winter, it isn’t that. I just find that writing lyrics becomes my outlet for more emotional and sometimes more negative things. We’ve all got a bit of melancholy in us.”
AUÐUR – ‘Alone’
Auðunn Lúthersson cut his teeth playing with Icelandic hardcore and noise-rock bands. After seeing James Blake at Sónar in 2013, he reinvented himself under the pseudonym AUÐUR (pronounced “Author”) and switched over to electronic music and is now ready to drop his debut album, ‘Alone’.
During Iceland Airwaves AUÐUR offered festival-goers an exclusive pre-listen to his album in Pokémon GO style at a downtown square in Reykjavík. Over 4000 people hunted it down via their mobiles.
From midnight on February 2nd, which also happens to be Groundhog Day, the visual version of the album was premiered and screened in a continuous loop lasting 24 hours, a perfect fit for the album’s themes of isolation and longing. The visual album features AUÐUR performing Alone in one take in a secluded room at an abandoned power plant on the outskirts of Reykjavík.