Last month, I wrote about the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu — and if you recall, the trio, which is currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar, was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation,by the way) along with Erling Bang (drums) can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. Quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. And within a month of their friendship and the project’s life, they had began to play shows in and around Reykjavik.
In a strange twist of fate, the original album of material 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 instead of trying to recall the material they initially wrote from memory, the project’s founding members decided that it was a perfect time to completely reinvent their sound. Around the same time, Kaktus Einarsson was in London working on Damon Albarn‘s Everyday Robots and touring with Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics while 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 at Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Building upon the buzz they had received, they went into the studio their 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 with the band’s sophomore effort, the project’s founding duo recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh out their sound as they expanded upon it and its thematic direction. With Sports’ first single, album title track “Sports,” the band retained the synth-driven sound that first caught international attention while pairing it with a tight, motorik groove reminiscent of Can, Neu! and Joy Division while nodding at Security-era Peter Gabriel.
“Liability,” Sports‘ second single continues in a similar vein as the trio pair angular busts of guitar with shimmering synths that twist and turn through the mix, a sinuous bass line and a mid-tempo groove that nods at the techno that the project once was. However, much like “Sports” the single possesses a dark, enigmatic air while pointing out the mundanity, drudgery and banality of daily life; but just under the surface there’s a broiling frustration and resentment of someone wanting to break free and yet not knowing how to do so.