From Iceland — Track By Track: 'This Is My Shit' By Páll Ivan 

Track By Track: ‘This Is My Shit’ By Páll Ivan 

Published October 6, 2017

Track By Track: ‘This Is My Shit’ By Páll Ivan 

Our cover star Páll Ivan walks us through his debut album, ‘This Is My Shit’. “The album’s title is the closest analogy to this music,” he says. “It’s stuff that comes out of me, fairly involuntarily, at semi-regular intervals. I like shit.”

Farðu á námskeið
I had just taken a group-CBT class, which I found remarkably ineffective. The song is just, “Take a course/class, and learn how to think like someone who feels good,” and then my negativity, depression and anxiety saying, “I don’t want to, I hate group things, etc. Leave me alone.” I’m not sure what I was going for with this one—some kind of mix of different cheesy sounds that feels a bit loungy. And refusing to sing in tune.

Tinder on the toilet
Well, swiping through Tinder on the toilet… we’ve all done it, and if you haven’t, you should. The ultimate manifestation of contemporary detachment. FML. (Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ was the inspiration for this one. Obviously.)

4th time blood
Anxiously experimenting with sado/maso things and finding to my surprise a combination of slapstick/existential comedy and deep intimacy. I really dislike this song—the sound and feel of it just makes my skin crawl. But it had to be done.

Halló vinur
I just thought I would make a Halloween song. My son used to love it, not so much anymore.

I have a difficult relationship with rap. I never hear or understand lyrics, and I am almost completely unable to remember words. I have no idea what this is about, but I tried to make a pop song that was more gritty-sounding than the others. I quite like this one.

I have to take the bus a lot, and I can’t stand it. Mundane/pedestrian hate can be very powerful, dark and silly. I usually use many layers of sound in these pop songs, but this one is deliberately kept simple, with few but big sounds.

Ógeðslega Namanamalagið
No words, no content. Just a disgusting song. Like someone touching you when you don’t want them to. I like this one.

Taktu lyf (“Take medicine”) 
This is one of my favorites.

Crazy Daisy
I think all the songs have the same tempo. This one is a little faster. I tried a different horrible way of singing. There is no excuse for this song I’m afraid. Don’t like it.

Atvinnuleysi fyrir alla (“Unemployment for everyone”) 
My friend Lommi wrote the lyrics! A glorious ode to unemployment and laziness! Michael Jackson was the inspiration for this one. Another favorite of mine.

Voffi er oft einn heima (“Doggy is often home alone”)
He’s sad and lonely but is accepting his fate. I was testing whether chords are important, or not, in pop music. They are not. I’m not sure why it’s on the album, but it’s there anyway. So… Yeah.

Sick sweet smell
An acquaintance of mine sometimes has a sick sweet smell in his apartment. The smell of masturbation and leftovers. You know the smell. Thought I’d put it into a delightful little song. The sound of it comes from me being impressed by how bassy a lot of pop music can be. I’ve been trying to teach myself mixing so this was a little part of my “learn more about compressors” theme. Actually most of the songs involve some kind of experiment with some production/mixing technique, which I suck at. I’m getting better I think. I hope…

Llama Alpaca
I just love Llamas and Alpacas! I want one! No, two! It was made with Garageband presets. I still didn’t have a microphone. Why not. Who cares?

I wish I just made music like this. Why can’t I? Shit, okay… I’m going to, from now on. It’s fun to pretend to be a big strong man. I can’t even grow a beard. FML. I don’t listen to a lot of music but Spaghetti Western stuff is something I keep coming back to again and again.

Read the full interview here.

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