Song of the Day: Fufanu - Sports

Iceland Airwaves, Song of the Day
03/28/2017
Jim Beckmann
photo by Magnus Andersen

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is the title track by Iceland band Fufanu from their 2017 album, Sports, on One Little Indian.

Fufanu - Sports (MP3)It's no secret we're fans of Iceland band Fufanu here at KEXP. They've performed live on air with with us from both their home, Reykjavik, and ours, Seattle, and, as we've noted the last time we featured one of their songs as Song of the Day, they were the first band the KEXP crew saw on our very first trip to Iceland nearly eight years ago. And, wow, what a long way they've come! Back then, they were an arty techno-loving duo, and now, with the recent release of their sophomore album, they're champions of moody post-punk. For Sports, bandmates Kaktus Einarsson and Guðlaugur "Gulli" Einarsson (no relation, both just sons of dudes named Einar) pulled touring member Erling Bang off the bench as starting percussionist and looked to producer, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs-er, Nick Zinner to coach the squad. The result is the tightest they've ever sounded.

"Sports", the title track, begins the LP with a fittingly lengthy stretch. At just over six minutes, it's the longest song and sets the pace, a propulsive one at that, for the rest to follow. Whereas on their debut, Few More Days To Go, Kaktus and Gulli favored fuzzy guitars, here they suit up their songs in sleeker attire. On Sports, synths prevail, and even the performed percussion and guitar- and bass-lines seem electronically enhanced, but rather than seeming cold, the songs retain a quirky playfulness, like today's featured song, which pairs flip lyrics like "chocolate brownie with the red sauce / that's my favorite one" and "going out with my love / jump around like six year olds" with an almost menacing melody. It keeps both the mind and ears limber.

Look for Fufanu to play at least a handful of shows around the U.S. this year. In fact, they were just in Boston this month performing for Reykjavik Calling there, and will do the same in Chicago on April 22nd. Will they play Reykjavik Calling here in Seattle? Stay tuned! And look for more info and music on the band's website and Facebook page. For now, here's both the official video for "Sports" and their live version of it as performed in KEXP's studio last year:

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