Úlfur joins figureight roster, Stereogum premiere "Fovea"

We are beyond thrilled to welcome artist Úlfur to the figureight family.

We're releasing his wonderful album "Arborescence" in the fall. Check out the first glimpse in the form of "Fovea", premiering today on Stereogum, which they call "tantalizing.. like the sound of wind whisking through fine-tuned machinery, brisk and gorgeously dense without making a big show of it."

Arborescence's pieces are longform and dreamily (un-)structured, made up of soundscapes, electro-acoustic processing, vocals, synthesizers, electronic production, all framed by intricate, cinematic string arrangements (performed by label-mate and múm co-founder Gyda Valtysdottir) and cataclysmic explosions of noise (provided in part by the transcendent and superlative drumming of black metal hero Greg Fox). The record alternately traverses moments of stillness and vulnerability and moments of violence, covering all the ground between as it travels.

Arborescence was produced by Randall Dunn (SUNN O))), Earth, Marissa Nadler, etc.), and also features the wonderful musicianship of Skúli Sverrisson (Blonde Redhead, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Laurie Anderson, Ólöf Arnalds) and Zeena Parkins (Björk, Jim O’Rourke, Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, John Zorn).

Follow Úlfur on...


Listen to & watch "Bang"

self-titled have just premiered the third and final track we're sharing off Aaron Roche's HaHa HuHu, "Bang". 

You can both listen to the song and watch a video to it, via this link. Aaron himself made the video, which features label mate Gyda Valtysdottir and some strangely enchanting movements. 

Aaron had this to say on the song: 

I wrote and recorded the song “Bang” some time ago. I was not in a great place mentally when I did. I wasn’t in a terrible place, but I was feeling extremely overwhelmed by my life changing very dramatically, very quickly. 

The music really came alive with the additions of vocalist Alex Sopp, bassist Logan Coale, and Michael Hammond programming some electronics.

Each ornamentation contributed by those three musicians helped to even out the frenetic structure of the tune.

The density of the song’s arrangement was an intentional decision. The lyrics wander through various dreamy landscapes filled with the vivid colors and anxious energies that accompany what might be classified as a panic attack.

HaHa HuHu is out next week. You can pre-order via bandcamp and be the first to receive the full album once it's out. 

Gyda Valtysdottir joins figureight, Stereogum premieres first single

We're thrilled to be able to officially welcome artist Gyda Valtysdottir to the figureight family. 

We'll be releasing Gyda's award-winning album Epicycle digitally and on vinyl this fall. 

Today Stereogum are premiering a track from the album - Gyda's version of the oldest surviving composition in the world, "Seikilos Epitaph".
Listen here, and watch Gyda perform the piece live at Dómkirkjan church in Iceland here

Epicycle was released on CD only in Iceland only last year through Reykjavík based Smekkleysa records, and won Album of the year and Album cover of the year at the Icelandic Music Awards, as well as an Kraumur award for best album. 

Gyda packshot.jpg

Listen to Aaron Roche's "Wooden Knife"

We have now unveiled the next track off Aaron Roche’s upcoming album HaHa HuHu, out on figureight September 8th.

The song, “Wooden Knife” is premiering over at Brooklyn Vegan

You can now pre-order HaHa HuHu via bandcamp, immediately receiving two tracks and receiving the album as soon as it's released. 

If in NYC, catch Aaron live at Union Pool on August 25th. Also on the bill are GDFX (Greg Fox) and Clarice Jensen with Grey McMurray.

Follow Aaron on Facebook

New Indridi track & video

Indridi has been busy since the release of Makril. Today The Line Of Best Fit are premiering a new Indridi track & video, which they call "two fantastic songs, two completely contrasting aesthetics".

I started making this song in the tour van riding from Hannover to some other town.
We were driving fast on the Autobahn. After moving to Berlin I started getting more into going to clubs and kind of discovered techno music, I just set out with making some very jaw grinding music. The strings in the middle part are played by Paul Wiancko this amazing composer and cellist, he recorded a string arrangement Aaron Roche made for my song "Dreamcat" last fall, it's sampled from those recordings. I immediately felt that Eartheater could level up the intensity of the song. She had this to say about the matter:
"Smoking the spokes of the voice comb."

Video: "Undiraldan"

"Undiraldan" is a song I wrote on an airplane going back to Iceland after going to NY for the first time. It's a love song of sorts, it's pretty old and when I think back to it I was very young and new to these feelings. Half a year later I returned again to NY and spent a lot of time with my friend Aaron Roche. At the time I had never recorded any of my songs that became the Indridi stuff. He asked me to record one song with him and join him and play a few of my songs on one of his shows. It was this song, "Undiraldan", and that moment was the seed of what was about to come. The video is very feel good and slightly phsycadelic, while being super mundane. I gathered together a team that I knew would be very fun to work with and then we just went at it with some slight ideas. I made the video with Fjóla Gautadóttir, dancer, and Sindri Steinarsson, filmographer, the process was very smooth and natural.

Aaron Roche - HaHa HuHu

a spellbinding hymn, six minutes of incantatory vocal phrases repeating atop a rising and falling tide of noise and subtly glitchy percussion.
— Stereogum

Aaron Roche - "Like Why I" video premiere via Stereogum

We are thrilled to officially welcome artist Aaron Roche to the figureight family. His beautiful album HaHa HuHu will be released in late summer 2017, digitally and on LP.

HaHa HuHu compiles and showcases Roche’s contrasting narratives: a singer-songwriter with an ear for the avant-garde; a contemporary composer who sings American folk music; an instrumentalist who works as a recording engineer.

The album’s wistful sensitivity and heartening playfulness reveal a songwriter both mature and confident, drawn to lo-fi and droning textures, to nonstandard song-crafting, to acutely personal observation. As a sideman, based in New York, Roche has played alongside R. Stevie Moore, Lower Dens, Sufjan Stevens and Anohni, but his own music is subtly, intelligently singular, distinct even from its influences and his peers.

HaHa HuHu can be pre-ordered via bandcamp shortly.

Indriði Announces Solo Album Makril out July 29 on figureight

Indriði Ingólfsson is a young Icelandic musician born of Reykjavik’s DIY punk scene, performing regularly with the hardcore band Muck and collaborating with artists such as Úlfur Hansson (Klive), The Heavy Experience, and Jófríður Ákadóttir. “I wanted to take this project out of Iceland a bit,” says Indriði. “I'm so bored of being here. If i wasn't in a romantic relationship with four guys that are my band then I wouldn't be in Iceland. I have a great need to explore by myself and experience different surroundings. Society here is so strange because it’s so small and everybody knows each other—we're such a bubble. I really like going alone to different places.”

The initial album spark came when he and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir (múm) presented an visual/audio installation during a residency in New York at the Clocktower Gallery (where the songs “Út” and “Guitarplay” were recorded) in the winter of 2013. That fall, the 24 year-old visual artist and guitar player returned to New York, this time setting up camp in the solitude of a forest upstate for ten days, where he experimented and recorded at Time Tree Studio. With friends and collaborators Aaron Roche (William Tyler, wordless music orchestra, R. Stevie Moore) and Alexandra Drewchin (Guardian Alien), they took walks in the woods, hung out, painted, and recorded very few takes straight to tape, learning analog production techniques as he went.

He had never sung before —“I just kind of screamed in my hardcore band”—so it was a real departure. “Most of the music I was doing solo before was really influenced by getting the program Ableton Live and I was producing a lot of electronic stuff. and I was you can always go back to the program and you can always do more with it somehow. But with this album I wanted to capture something live, some moment. Most of the songs were written troubadour style: writing lyrics and playing the guitar and singing the songs instead of just working in a computer.” Most of the lead guitar tracks were recorded very simply and in just one session: “I wanted it to sound live, so I had one microphone that faced out the window. That’s why you can often hear a little bit of airplane and insects and crickets and stuff.”

At the heart of the album’s concept is Indriði’s kinship with mackerel fish (‘makríll’ in Icelandic): “I was living in this shed by the ocean in Reykjavik and I was completely obsessed with hunting mackerel. The first thing I did when I woke up was go out and fish, and all my dreams were about mackerel. I was just psycho about this mackerel and gave myself a mackerel stick-and-poke tattoo while I recorded the album—I was very fixated with this fish. It’s a cool fish: it’s a fish that only very recently started coming to Iceland—like this immigrant fish—it just started coming and people hadn't gotten used to it, and there are all these politics about who should and shouldn’t be allowed to fish it. And when I looked it was just like, this fish. So it stuck.”

figureight records makes its debut on July 12, 2017, with the release of Makril, a 12-inch vinyl LP comprising ten original tracks written and recorded by Indriði that reflect his ideas of self exploration, immigration mackerel fish, and leaving Iceland. Makril is his solo record, a self-produced raw acoustic record that debuts his vocals and lyrics. The release comes with a 150gm vinyl record and a digital download card. It is available for pre-order and comes with a download of the track “Dreamcat."



1A. Afogtil

2A. Dreamcat

3A. Paradisa

4A. Guitarplay

5A. Undiraldan

6B. Djésenda

7B. Gæsin og Minkurin

8B. Apar

9B. Asenda

10B. Út

In Honor Of #InternationalWomensDay, A Playlist Of Ladies Who Rock


Israeli sisters (from left) Liron, Tair and Tagel Haim, who make up the band A-WA, perform in Jerusalem.

Israeli sisters (from left) Liron, Tair and Tagel Haim, who make up the band A-WA, perform in Jerusalem.

International Women's Day is a day to celebrate how much women have accomplished and to remember that gender equality is still a ways away.

It's a day to cherish and honor ladies who rock.

So what better way to pay tribute to the day than with a playlist featuring some of the coolest female musicians around the world.

This roundup features a trio of sisters from rural Israel who've re-created traditional Yemeni-Arab women's songs, and an Algerian refugee who uses her music to publicize the suffering of the stateless. There's also the Indian punk rocker in a sari, the Kenyan rapper whom fans call "The Bauss Lady" and the Mexican cabaret singer known for her weird costumes.

Check out the picks — and let us know who you'd add to this list of female musicians around the world. Tell us in a comment below or, tweet us at @NPRGoatsandSoda.