GusGus join forces with Vök vocalist Margrét Rán on their new album ‘Mobile Home’, as well as hooking up with former bandmates Siggi Kinski and Stefán Árni for lyrical and visual collaborations. Grapevine met GusGus mainstay Biggi Veira, fellow founding member Daníel Ágúst and Margrét Rán at the band’s Reykjavík studio to talk us through the album.
Stay The Ride
Daníel: “Stay The Ride” is about the disorientation of a person and his connection to reality; creating his virtual reality through a smartphone.
Biggi: This track has a massive chorus featuring Dan, but we felt that it needed an extra voice. Margrét tried it and I thought, “Yes, this is what’s needed to finish the album; her just doing the final touches.”
Higher, featuring Vök
Margrét: Biggi sent me the demo and I was like “That’s an odd one, but really cool.” I was really into watching ‘The Crown’ at the time, so I linked the song to the whole concept of majesty and power. The characters were so powerful, in a way, but in another way so powerless and isolated from reality.
Daníel: And the concept of isolation from reality comes up in more lyrics on the album.
Biggi: Maybe what Margrét feels is majestic is the Vangelis influence. It’s a reggae-dub-techno Vangelis track.
Daníel: The guy in “Simple Tuesday” is totally lost. He’s not even trying to be the best version of himself. He’s lost in procrastination and trying to decide when he’s going to be himself. When can he stop being so lost and just get a grip on his life?
Love Is Alone
Daníel: The phrase “love is alone” kind of rang in my head. When working on new tracks, you sometimes come up with stupid lyrics like this, as placeholders just to create a melody.
Margrét: And you sometimes create gold by doing that.
Daníel: But in the final lyrics we decided to keep this strange concept of love being alone, because it is sadder than sad to say that love is alone.
Daníel: It’s about the frame that society puts you in, which we then just carry around because that’s how people want us to be. And that’s how we think we should behave for others.
Biggi: Or maybe it’s the frame that you choose in context with the reality you want to seek. You say “I want to be like this,” and then you have to fit into that frame.
Daníel: Yes. So it’s a self-made frame, basically.
Daníel: The broken heart of youth. It’s about unrequited love and a very fragile relationship between people who are attracted to each other, but shouldn’t be because it’s…
Biggi: …socially illegal. It’s love and shame. And then it’s discovered, and the bomb blows up.
Daníel: And that’s when the original heartbreak happens.
Daníel: This was one of the demos that I really loved. That arpeggio was just so fast, busy and hypnotizing that it pushed me to write about silence. Because it was so noisy and so eager to grab you, I used silence as a weapon against the noise.
Daníel: We share this fond memory from our teenage years—roller skating in those rinks that had been set up in town. We shared that experience, and then we came up with this idea of a struggle between good and evil in this supposedly innocent recreational world.
Biggi: Yeah, “The Rink” is a song about a fight between good and evil on roller skates.
Biggi: And the story is over. So where do we go from here? Just flush it down the toilet so it gets washed away, and start again.
Daníel: Clear the mind and start over.
Biggi: So basically that’s what “Flush” is about. It’s just a spiralling toilet flush.
‘Mobile Home’ will be released on May 28th across all platforms.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!