Track by Track: Bagdad Brothers - ‘Sorry’ - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Track by Track: Bagdad Brothers – ‘Sorry’

Track by Track: Bagdad Brothers – ‘Sorry’

Published May 21, 2019

Bagdad brothers are a sunny indie-pop band who’ve been taking Reykjavík by storm over the past year. They’ve also become well-known as political activists. We asked them to talk us through their latest EP, ‘Sorry.’

“Like everything else we’ve released to this point, ‘Sorry’ serves as a sort of soundtrack to our lives,” they say. “Since we have a rich tendency to use music as a means of coping during hard times, these four tracks are mostly a result of a seemingly never-ending heartbreak season. They’re our way of trying to wrap our heads around some of the roughest, but most important experiences of the last few months.”

Það Varst Ekki Þú
This is a really sad one. It’s about that moment in the post-break up process where you think you’re starting to get over something, but then one night you just collapse and feel like you lost the greatest thing you’ve ever had in your life, and it was all your fault. The lyrics (roughly translated) begin with the line: “It wasn’t you—it was me.” It’s a moment of completely depressed desperation—but an important step in getting over those feelings.

Sjálfbær Elskhugi
We originally recorded this song for the first “DRULLUMALL” compilation album released by post-dreifing in March last year. It sort of came out of thin air, in the middle of a jam session where we were playing around with a Roland TR-505 drum machine we had borrowed from a friend. On “sorry” the features live drums from Ægir, though. The lyrics to this track are actually full of shit—they’re the sleep-drunk, intoxicated mumbles of a past lover, that happened to be written down. In hindsight they feel quite urgent, or at least fun and interesting: “Should we die from this cold together? Choke on each other’s boogers? Wouldn’t that be romantic?”

Burt Með Sumrinu
So Bjarni has this thing where he falls in love and then just before things get really great they end suddenly because of external circumstances. This song is about one of these incidents. Using the seasons as a metaphor for love and heartbreak is nothing new in writing lyrics, but here it just felt necessary. Musically, the song is very much inspired by Bjarni’s recent awkward Beatles phase. Backing vocals are supplied by Silla from BSÍ and Sillus, Karó from GRÓA and our dearest Steinunn—and Sigurpáll!

Strákar
The title of this song simply translates to “Boys”—and it addresses our frustration with guys who are just full of themselves, and ruin stuff for everyone else. Having, sadly enough, repeatedly found ourselves in situations where male figures from our lives turn out to be sexual abusers—having to deal with that, and watching the pain that toxic masculinity causes in the lives of people of all genders, inspired the writing of this song, so it really means a lot to us.“Complacency or regret?” is a question we ask in the lyrics, placing some weight on the aftermath of sexual violence — how does one face the conequence of their own actions?

‘Sorry’ is out now. Check it out on Bandcamp. See bagdad brothers tour dates, including a US run, on Facebook. Read more about the band here. See their pre-US-tour live show here.

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