Sin Fang's Summer EchoesIt's been only 3 years since Iceland's new king of lo-fi layered lushness, Sindri Már Sigfússon, began his official recording career. “Summer Echoes”, the new and second album of his solo-project Sin Fang (he dropped the “Bous”) is now already his 4th album release (including 2 records of his other musical outlet Seabear since 2007.
After having set himself the task of playing all instruments on his debut solo album "Clangour", this time around Sigfússon wanted to move closer to the sound of a live band and recruited a number of his friends from múm, Amiina and Seabear to record “Summer Echoes” in his own studio and Sigur Rós Sundlaugin studio. The arrangements are more band oriented, grander in scope and more transparent than their predecessor’s and there is a diverse breadth of sounds across "Summer Echoes" dozen songs, reaching from a heart-breaking intimate piano ballad like “Two Boys” to sudden outbursts of guitar noise in “Bruises”.
A limited edition Sin Fang 7" featuring the non-album cover versions of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" and Simon & Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy In New York" was recently released, while the album's first single, "Because Of The Blood/Two Boys" is due out this month…
First up, you went and changed your name by dropping a bous! Are you trying to confuse us?
Hehe no, more to annoy my manager and record label. But seriously I just said Sin Fang when I was referring to it. The bous just fell off pretty naturally. It’s a bit of a hassle right now but in the end it will be better. And besides 'Sin Fang' sounds much harder than Sin Fang Bous. Like a hardcore band or something.
Where did you find time to record another solo album- you seemed so busy with Seabear! Were you writing and recording on the road or in downtime…?
After Seabear changed into a fully-fledged democratic band I spent most my recording and writing time on Sin Fang stuff. When we're doing Seabear stuff it’s all of us together. I don’t have a normal job so I spend a lot of time working on music.
Did you have an idea of where you wanted this album to go from the outset?
Not really. I just did whatever I felt like at the time of the recording/writing.
Where does the title of the album come from?
I was trying to find something that described the sound of the album. in my mind it’s summery and there's delay (echoes) on lots of the instruments and voices.
Now you've had some distance, what are your feelings about your debut, Clanguour?
I’m not sure. I haven’t listened to it since I finished it. When I think back about it, it feels like it was very spontaneous and simple. It was an important album for me because I felt so free. It was around that time that I realised the best thing about being an artist is that you can do whatever you want. And that’s kind of been my motto since then.
It sounds like a much less "randomised" excursion into sound - is that how it felt? More structured, controlled?
Yes definitely more thought out - I did demos before the final recording and stuff.
How do you separate the Seabear stuff from your own stuff? Does it get confusing?
No it’s pretty simple: when we're all together working on some songs it’s Seabear. When I’m alone its Sin Fang.
How was 2010 for Seabear overall?
We've never toured as much. We had some good shows and some bad ones. I liked playing festivals for a lot of happy (drunk) people. Preferably outside.
Summer Echoes has been called by one blog “the best Icelandic album of the last 10 years” -- does that feel good, scary, or weird?
Well it’s always great when people like what you do. I think it's important to not think too much about press, good or bad.
Where was the album recorded?
Most of it in my basement studio. The drums where recorded in the swimming pool studio in mosó, and I mixed with Biggi who owns the pool.
You recorded some covers of Simon and Garfunkel and Fleetwood Mac for the recent limited edition 7" - why those songs / artists?
I've been a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac for a long time and was playing around with Landslide on the piano. I recorded it at the swimming pool studio while waiting to start a drum session I think. I haven’t listened a lot to Simon and Garfunkle and I put one of their albums on last year. That track stood out for me and I was playing around with it on the acoustic guitar at my house. I thought it would be fun to do a 7" with two pretty lo fi arrangements as the usual Sin Fang stuff is always pretty busy.
Will 2011 be all about Sin Fang?
I will be focusing on Sin Fang this year but Seabear is going to try and write a new album and maybe even record it this year. We'll see how it goes.
Source: Iceland Music Export (IMX)