In 2017, Sóley, Sin Fang and Örvar Smárason made a pact to write, record and release one song a month for the whole year. The resulting album, ‘Team Dreams,’ is an evocative LP that bears the hallmarks and voices of all three. We asked them to talk us through it.
“We just came home from our first tour in Europe,” says Sóley. “We all played a 20-minute solo set, then joined up to play the ‘Team Dreams’ songs. We had the great Gylfi Sigurðsson from Retro Stefson join us on drums, and it went quite smoothly. We’re getting old though. I just wanna sit with a glass of red wine and talk about politics. Not really, but… is that perhaps my dream?”
“But we had fun too. On the last show, Sindri was telling this story on stage about the night before him and Gylfi went out and had a couple of beers (probably more). When they got back to the hotel, they smashed their faces on this glass wall which they thought was an automatic door. Wait for the funny part…”
“Only 2 seconds later Örvar started Random Haiku Generator and, believe it or not, the first line is: “Glass me in the face.” The crowd just went wild. It took us a few seconds to process what had happened. Örvar had to keep on singing, and I just bit my tongue to stop laughing.”
Random Haiku Generator
Sindri: I remember not being able to come up with a good vocal melody for this. When Örvar sent his arrangement, it finally clicked. In hindsight, the lyrics he wrote set the tone for the rest of the album, for me.
Sóley: I like the lyrical mess we made on this album—one started it, then forwarded it to the others, who would guess what the other one was saying, and take the song in a whole new direction.
The Sun Will Go Out
Sindri: Someone would often send a demo with lyrics to the first verse and chorus. We never really talked about each others’ lyrics, but we’d work from that first theme. When Örvar sent this, it felt like he was singing about the time we have on Earth, and the eventual end of the planet, so that’s what I based my lyrics on.
Love Will Leave You Cold
Sindri: This is one of my favourite songs of the album. It was originally an ambient, floaty piece that Örvar reworked into a song structure. The lyrics are so bleak they sting the nostrils.
Sóley: One of the good things that came from this collaboration is that Sindri and Örvar would send me a song to work on that I’d never have made alone. It was a real eye-opener, creatively.
Sindri: This song is about being afraid of technology and feeling like a plastic bag full of soggy garbage.
Sindri: For the drums in this song I sampled tennis sounds from YouTube. The lyrics are about getting older and the greener grass that’s always on the other side.
Sindri: This song is about cultural brainwashing, corporate capitalism, Western privilege and internet algorithms.
Used And Confused
Sindri: The first version of this song I did was when I was opening up on a múm tour in 2014. I never used it, so it became the basis for this song. We always used to listen to “Linger” by The Cranberries backstage, so the lyrics are inspired by that.
Sóley: This is kind of an end of the world song—when you’re a teenager and you think the world is ending because your parents suck.
Sindri: I wrote my lyrics from the point of view of a witch burning at the stake.
Sóley: That’s exactly how I saw it too.
Sóley: An album needs one singalong, right? My lyrics were inspired by ‘The Lobster’ by Yorgos Lanthimos. When I heard the parts that Örvar and Sindri wrote, a tear came out of my eye.
Sóley: Imagine the emptiness and silence in space. It must drive you crazy. Well, life on earth drives us crazy sometimes too—so if you have the tendency to be a little brain-fucked, then it doesn’t matter where you live or with whom you fall in love with.
Go To Sleep Boy
Sóley: I downloaded a bad Baldwin Fun Machine drum loop from YouTube and started playing around. Sindri made it sound like a mess. A good mess. Also, boys should cry more often. I like it.
Dream Team Party Kids
Sindri: This is the best song sóley has ever written about me.
‘Team Dreams’ is out now. The three will perform live together at Iðnó on June 1st.