13 Questions with Icelandic mavericks BSÍ – DIY punk and facts about Water Bears

BSÍ are Iceland’s hottest new prospect and with the release of a brace of singles from their forthcoming album, Sometimes Depressed … But Always Antifascist, we fired off our 13 Qs

BSÍ have released two teaser tunes from their upcoming full album, due out in May 2021.

25Lue and Dónakallalagið show the two very different styles of the band and make for a curious, but satisfying, pairing.

While it’s still unclear if the band is named after Iceland’s most miserable location – Reykjavík’s grey and dull central bus terminal BSÍ –, or an acronym for Brussels Sprouts Intl., it’s clear that the duo of Silla Thorarensen (drums & vocals) and Julius Pollux Rothlaender (bass guitar & toe-synths) is an unconventional set up.

BSÍ used the year of the pandemic to write and record their debut album, a highly original concept that might as well be a twin EP. It features two distinctly different sides: Sometimes depressed … but always antifascist – five songs low key heartbreak melancholy, five songs riot grrrl lofi-cute-punk.

With 25Lue and Dónakallalagið BSÍ now release the first two songs from that album, introducing each of its two sides.

The gentle 25Lue is the last song on the melancholic side of the album. It describes a certain reconciliation and a peace with the past, paired with a tender, mellow feeling, 80’s synths, lo-fi dreaminess, and a vague hope for the next summer to come soon.

On the other side, Dónakallalagið is the energetic and screaming counterpart from the …but always antifascist second half of the album. The lyrics are an anthem against all the “dónakallar” that have, for too long, taken too much space, sexually harassed and overstepped people’s boundaries. “Dónakall” is an Icelandic term which usually describes that cis-male-white-hetero-energy that everyone is tired of dealing with and wants to make extinct for good.

The album will be released on 21 May 2021.

In the meantime, we fired off some questions.

Where are you and what are you doing?
Silla: We’re in my apartment, in a sunny and cold afternoon, creating paintings for a fund-raiser auction in support of No Borders activists in Iceland.

What is your favourite view?
Julius: My favourite view is when I take a break from studio work and walk along the coast in Ægisíða.

What is your favourite swear word and why?
Silla: Fokk.

What was the first record / cd you bought with your own money?
Silla: The first Spice Girls album!

Marmite. Yes, or no?
Silla: I don’t like it.

If you could go to a gig right now, anywhere in the world, which band would you see? And in which venue?
Silla: I would want to see Tirzah, somewhere in London.

Who are your musical influences?
Silla: Julius.

How do you like your eggs?
Silla: I don’t eat eggs. Unless they’re vegan, then I like them scrambled.

Tell us something we don’t know.
Julius: Did you know that water bears can cope with extreme high and low temperatures that would kill other organisms? Some species can survive exposure to -272.15°c.

Which city do you recommend we visit – and why?
Julius: Have you ever come to Castrop-Rauxel?

What’s your drink of choice?
Silla: Bubbly.
Julius: Oat Milk.

What band or album do you think we should check out right now?
Silla: All the bands in post-dreifing, for example Gróa, Supersport, sideproject, IDK IDA, K.óla,

Do you have anything else to declare?

Drepum dónakallin!

Lead image – credit – Berglind Erna Tryggvadóttir

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