Text and Interview: Alec Coiro
Photos: Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir
Sindri Már Sigfússon is the Nordic folk visionary behind Sin Fang, and his new album Spaceland is the much anticipated follow up to Flowers. The music of Sin Fang fuses the epic with the minimal in a way that aptly reflects the contrasts that give Iceland its reputation as the land of ice and fire. We got in touch with Sindri and were lucky enough to have him share the very personal nature of his song writing with us. He also takes us through the process of creating a folk-inflected project that is completely electronic. This formal challenge of being “unacoustic” seems part and parcel with Sin Fang’s larger distinction of being wholly original. Read on and let the musician explain in his own words.
You feature a number of different collaborators on the album; can you tell us a little bit about some of them; how did your relationships form, and what’s the collaboration process like?
Jófríður, jónsi and sóley i had worked with before with on different projects. i met farao when she was here in iceland recording her album with my friend mike. i sent the songs to sóley and jónsi and they did their own thing in their studio. i had jófríður and kari come into my studio and recorded them.
You’ve talked about “self-therapy after having panic attacks” as a theme on the album. What are some self-therapy techniques you can recommend for those of us suffering from anxiety.
I think for me music has always been a form of self-therapy and meditation. when i was feeling really bad i had a hard time focusing and making music but i could write lyrics. i was also listening to some self help hippy spoken word ambient music stuff. i took inspiration from some of the chants in that for my lyrics.
Candy, it seems to me, can have a multitude of connotations. What does the candy of “Candyland” connote, and is there a shared border between “Candyland and “Spaceland”?
Not really. i was working on this song and i asked my girlfriend if she could write the lyrics for it. she asked me what the song was called and i just said ‘candyland’ without thinking about it. so i ended up writing the lyrics and naming the song candyland. jónsi wrote his chorus lyrics based on my verse lyrics.
It’s very impressive the way you maintain continuity with your previous work while still managing to keep things fresh and moving forward on “Spaceland.” What were some of your objectives or intentions when you set out to create this new album.?
I wanted to make something without any “real” instruments. so most of this is made with synths, samples and manipulated acoustic sounds. even though i’ve always used synths and samples in my music this was the first time i based the entire backbone of the songs on electronics. it was difficult at first to make electronic music that i thought was ‘convincing’, kind of like learning a new language.
I understand the album was recorded partially in L.A. and partially in Iceland, which would seem to make for a major contrast in scenery. Do you think the dual locations influenced the sound of the album, and can you tell us a little about your recording process in general?
It was made in a few different studios and while i was travelling around playing shows. im not sure how much all the travelling around while i was making the album made a big difference. after i got to the core of the idea of what i wanted to do with this album i felt like i could see how the end result was gonna be like.
Will there be a tour to accompany the album?
Yes, some touring is being planned right now.