From Iceland — Track By Track: 'The Bug' By IDK IDA

Track By Track: ‘The Bug’ By IDK IDA

Published November 27, 2017

Track By Track: ‘The Bug’ By IDK IDA
Photo by
Art Bicnick

IDK IDA is a Reykjavík-based Dane who’s just self released her debut album. Here, she talks us through it track by track. “‘The Bug’ is a highly personal album and I’ve played with the friction between the mechanic and organic,” she says. “I built webs with sixty tracks of digitally driven instruments and field recordings. I’ve found a lot of joy in being aware of my surroundings and recording things throughout the day.”

I was asked by the amazing artist Wiola Ujazdowska to create a soundscape for a performance about loss and longing. I recorded the whole thing in 20 minutes. I improvised three takes and only changed the recording a little. I just felt it. Longing is such a fundamental emotion, and my songs contain exactly this topic.

It shouldn’t be a secret: I’ve dealt with depression, anxiety and eating disorders for years. In the period I wrote this song I was obsessed with the idea of a human as a machine that has to function. If you’re broken, you’re unable to live the life you’re supposed to. But you also have a chance to plug your wires in a new system.

This song is about wishing for change when you’re holding yourself back. It feels like being split into two people. But which voice is the right one to listen to? Is one of them sane, is the other not? The track happened after I recorded a staircase at Roskilde. I would go to bed early and wake up before everyone else, suffering from anxiety. The song is built around the staircase beat, and my situation became something powerful.

Bees Riot
I was inspired by an article about bees and how the chemistry of beeswax can change and make the bees go from living in order to chaos. It’s sort of a dystopia where they kill each other. We’re “doing time,” dealing with the codes of society, but just like with these bees, the chemistry changes, and ugly tendencies reveals themselves.  

Clint Eastwood
This is the first song I ever produced. I wrote it in a very boring class in art school. It’s about containing good, bad and ugly and having to accept that. A lot of the elements in the track are created from a men’s choir chanting. One sound source can become many things.

Sea Creature
The only song I ever wrote about love is a heartbroken one—someone broke my heart, and I couldn’t forget her. I was a sea creature on land. The song came to me in a beautiful valley in Vietnam. It’s the first track I started to produce when I arrived in Iceland, on the floor of Sveinbjörn Thorarensen’s studio space. Without his encouragement my creative adventure would have been way lonelier.

Game of Tag
This one is a take on a creepy future. When I wrote the song there were gloomy prospects of very bad political decisions being made. What amazes me is that we keep on crowning yet another fool.

I Want To
This song points towards the future, both in content and sound. 92% of this track is made from field recordings. I went to Reykjadalur with my friend and collaborator, Therese Precht Vadum. There’s a field with geothermal steam and a pumping mechanism that creates a clunking and hissing sound that I recorded by chance. I had had the idea for the song in my head. It had to be intimate, longing, powerful and yearning. But also optimistic.

Download ‘The Bug’ at Read our interview here.

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