BSÍ, no doubt one of the more un-Googleable bands in Iceland, are a Grapevine favourite, having pumped out feel-good indie tracks since their inception years ago. Now, the band is here with their debut album ‘Sometimes depressed… but always antifascist’. To learn more, Sigurlaug ‘Silla’ Thorarensen and Julius Rothlaender—the duo behind BSÍ—sat down with us to talk about the release track by track.
First half: ‘Sometimes depressed’
Julius: In this song, you’ll hear the secret ingredient of BSÍ—an old Casio keyboard, found in a flea market in Berlin a century ago. Mysteriously it found its way to Reykjavík and we gave it the name ‘Casillus’. It’s preferably played by Silla’s hands or my toes.
Julius: We stole the idea for this song from ourselves as we sifted through old demos from our very first rehearsals at R6013 a couple of years ago. The last bits and pieces for the lyrics we wrote together in a bar in Berlin, drinking champagne and banana juice, the night before recording the song.
Silla: This is the first and only song we composed with a guitar. Usually we make a song by improvising on bass and drums. We are always switching around who plays what instrument, so Julius made the guitar melody and I made the bass melody, but I ended up playing the guitar and Julius the bass! Confusion is key!
Silla: Trúnótime—I think this song was actually the most cathartic one for me because of a heartbreak I was going through at the time. In the outro, I say goodbye to a future that didn’t come. But I like that it is a pretty upbeat song though, which is a big contrast to the lyrics.
Julius: I was born in a town called Lübeck in Northern Germany and went to revisit that place two years ago. Silla came to visit me and that really meant a lot to me. The song is not about medieval cathedrals and the title is just the name of the demo file – that’s as much BSÍ as it gets.
Second half: ‘…but always antifascist’
Julius: Our friend Snæfríður, who created the music video together with Arína Vala, said all there is to say about the song: “dsjúmm…, dsjúmm…, dsjúmm, dsjúmm, dsjúmm, dsjúmm!”+
Silla: You only need to know this: ‘We’re all sluts—you’re a slut, all these dudes behind you’s a slut, your mama’s a slut, your grandma’s a slut, everybody!’
My Knee Against Kyriarchy
Julius: More sweet songs against bad things! Silla taught me the term ‘kyriarchy’, which is an intersectional extension of the idea of patriarchy beyond gender, encompassing more forms of dominating and oppressive hierarchies, such as sexism, racism, ableism, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia.
Silla: This song is an angry anthem aimed at all the ‘dónakallar’—all the pervy rude dudes out there and a big F*** you to the social systems that allow them to get away easily with all kinds of shit.
Alltaf Alltaf Stundum Alltaf
Silla: The working title for this one was”’Gróulagið”—a reference to the great band GRÓA. We still call it that when rehearsing and I don’t think we’ll get used to the new title any time soon. Fríða Björg, Hrafnhildur and Karó from GRÓA with Bjarni Daníel from Supersport! sing backing vocals in the outro that lift the song to a higher level!
Check out BSÍ on their Bandcamp and listen to ‘Sometimes depressed… but always antifascist’ by BSÍ on all streaming platforms.
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