From Iceland — Track By Track: ‘Undir bláu tungli’ By Logi Pedro

Track By Track: ‘Undir bláu tungli’ By Logi Pedro

Track By Track: ‘Undir bláu tungli’ By Logi Pedro

Published September 18, 2020

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Two years after his debut solo album, Logi Pedro is back with his second effort ‘Undir bláu tungli’ (‘Under The Blue Moon’.) We sat down with the artist to learn more about the release, track by track. Here’s what he had to say about each song:

Sól

“Sól” is the oldest track on the album. I actually started working on it in 2017 and it’s gone through revisions, remixes and reedits. But when I was in Sierra Leone in the spring of 2019, it finally clicked. The lyrics are centered around a girl named Sól. It’s not a love story, it’s a fling.

Ef Grettisgata gæti talað

I’ve actually been trying to use this title or line for a while now. At the same time as I was writing this song, I had just watched ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and from there, I got acquainted with James Baldwin. I then watched this great documentary about him called ‘I Am Not Your Negro.’ I was thinking about all of that and what came out is a retrospective about all these scenes from my life — those late nights filled with weird energy. Clubs. Drugs. In the chorus, I say, “If Grettisgata (the street) could talk, it could tell you stories about me.” It’s an homage to 101.

Mama

“Mama” is essentially about my Mother. It’s straightforward. But at the same time, it’s also a song for foreign women. There’s this quote by John Lennon that Björk also said — it is not a good quote — but it says, “Woman is the n***** of the world.” I think the most preyed upon being in the world is the black woman, the foreign woman. So in the song I say, “I will be there.” It’s about standing up.

Spaðar

There’s a great track by Juice WRLD called “Lucid Dreams” where he samples the Sting song “Shape Of My Heart.” It made me really sit down and listen to Sting’s lyrics and there’s one part when he says, “Spades are the swords of a soldier.” I wanted to do something similar with the deck of cards metaphor. In Icelandic, ‘spaðar’ or ‘spade’ is slang for jocks, so I say, “Spades go to the club and they leave their hearts behind.” It’s about going to a club and fucking yourself up in a melancholic way.

Mann setur hljóðan

My friend Siggi Odds once tweeted, “Someone needs to do an Icelandic grime song with the saying ‘Maður setur hljóðan.’” The saying means being lost for words. So that’s how it started and in the song, I quote some famous Icelandic songs like “Hættu að hringja í mig” and “Þannig týnist tíminn.” Even though the instrumentals on this album are a bit jolly, the lyrics are very melancholic and this continues the same theme as “Spaðar.” It’s when the party is over.

Um Da Tímann ’N Da Vatnið

In this song I’m quoting one of the most famous poems in Iceland, ‘Tímann og vatnið’ (‘Time & Water’). The track is just about the struggle, about forcing things that aren’t going to work and battling with your own origins. Originally, it was just going to be titled the same as the poem, but then I watched a Spike Lee marathon and was inspired by ‘Da 5 Bloods.’ This album merges my African background with my Icelandic background and I was inspired by how Lee’s work mixes them theoretically and visually, so I wanted to do that too.

Reykjavík

“Reykjavík” was a B-side on a single I did two years ago. It’s very different from the rest of the album. This album is heavily influenced by African pop music but this one is very much influenced by “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley — a folk song. It’s written to my son.

Check out ‘Undir bláu tungli’ by Logi Pedro on all streaming platforms and follow him on Facebook. Check out previous Grapevine coverage on Logi Pedro here.

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