Release Date: Nov 27, 2015
Record label: One Little Indian
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
I’ve lost track of the number of indie bands I’ve seen 'go electro' in recent years. Granted, some have done so more successfully than others, but it’s nevertheless refreshing to hear a group making the opposite transition. Of course, Icelandic duo Fufanu have been able to nurture their current guise while remaining relatively free of the scrutiny of the international press.
Listening to Fufanu’s debut is an experience that borders on the surreal. While many great Icelandic bands are like an aural version of watching the Northern Lights sparking above a natural wonder like Gullfoss, listening to this record is like turning your back on all that, facing into a blizzard and roaming blindly into the bleak, mid-winter darkness. Waves of pulsing electronica swirl and wash over the crowd.
When Einar Örn (who sang in the Sugarcubes with Björk) started bringing English post-punk records to Iceland in the early 1980s, he triggered an Icelandic fascination with the sound that has reverberated through the nation’s music. Three and a half decades on, his son Kaktus Einarsson is continuing the trend in Fufanu with Gulli Einarsson (no relation). The duo (who have now expanded to a quintet) certainly bear all the hallmarks of English post-punk bands, especially Joy Division and Bauhaus.
Any conclusion you jump to regarding Fufanu is likely to be wrong. Based around a core duo of Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson, they’re the latest talked-about band to hail from Iceland, but familiarity with that nation’s best known musical exports (Björk, Sigur Rós) won’t tell you a jot about the fizzing gothic blare of their debut album ‘Few More Days To Go’. They first garnered attention in 2014 supporting Damon Albarn in the Royal Albert Hall (Kaktus worked in a studio capacity on his ‘Everyday Robots’ album), and have since opened for Blur, but certainly don’t sound like industry patsies weaseling their way onto prestigious bills.