Currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar, was a member of The Sugarcubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation,by the way) along with Erling Bang (drums), the members of Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu can trace its origins to when its founding members met at school — and as the story goes, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. In the same week that the duo met, they went into the studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. And within a month of their meeting they began playing shows in and around Reykjavik. “It was happy electronica,” Kaktus Einarsson recalls in press notes. “We were aiming for something deeper, but didn’t have the capabilities. The reason we never released anything as Captain Fufanu was that as soon as we had something ready, we aimed for something new, more challenging.”
In a strange twist of fate, that album that Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson wrote and recorded has long been presumed lost as the studio they recorded their original Captain Fufanu album was burgled and this was paired with the duo wanting to reinvent their sound. Interestingly, at the time Kaktus Einarsson was in London working on Damon Albarn‘s Everyday Robots and touring with Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics — and simultaneously Gulli Einarsson had started to recreate their sound in a way that Kaktus describes as conveying what he had been thinking. They then added guitars and drums and began pairing that with Katkus’ brooding vocals — and then renamed themselves Fufanu.
Their first live set with their new sound and aesthetic was Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. The band’s founding members then went into the studio to record their brooding full-length debut A Few More Days To Go, which further expanded a growing national and international profile as they toured with renowned acts such as The Vaccines and played at JaJaJa Festival. The band’s forthcoming Nick Zinner-produced sophomore full-length Sports is slated for a February 3, 2017 release through renowned British label One Little Indian Records and the album which has the band recruiting Erling “Elli” Bang (drums), also finds the band expanding upon their sound and its thematic direction. While retaining sound elements of the synth-based sound that first caught attention, the band’s sound also possesses a motorik groove reminiscent of krautrock acts like Can and Neu! as well as Joy Division and Security-era Peter Gabriel as you’ll hear on the moodily atmospheric and propulsive first single off Sports, album title track “Sports.”
Reportedly, “Sports” as well as the rest of the material on Sports thematically deals with the drudgery and mundanity of daily life, while subtly hinting at other things in an enigmatic fashion. As Kaktus Einarsson explains their lead single “could be about getting really obsessed with a chocolate brownie, or it could be about a boy or girl and being obsessed with getting them on your side.”
The recently released music video was directed by the members of the band and the video is a rather ironic take on the song as it features a bunch of high-school aged kids getting off a bus at a local track where they stretch and do the Olympic-styled track and field sports — but as the camera follows some of these kids, there’s creeping sense of something not quite right, as the kids look at the camera with distrust, loathing, fear and confusion. It’s a striking and surreal video that leaves a lingering feeling of unease, much like the song that it accompanies.