After his collaboration with Sóley and múm’s Örvar Smárason for the 2018 LP “Team Dreams”, “Sad Party” sees Sindri Sigfússon take things into his own hands again. As a result of frantic and mostly improvised jam sessions, the nine pop songs are as bittersweet as the title suggests, meandering between Sin Fang’s trademark knack for catchy melodies, rich sonic textures and advanced musical experimentalism. Psychedelic and melancholic at once, it brings Sigfússon’s many different musical facets into a consistent and irresistible flow.
“Sad Party” was recorded by Sigfússon alone over the course of three weeks in an old wooden studio in downtown Reykjavík before it was, like so many Icelandic venues in recent times, closed for good thanks to rising rents. “It had a wonderful view, something most music studios do not have,” says Sigfússon of the place, where he had spent so much time recording, drinking and playing table tennis in the past years. Now he locked himself in for three weeks to throw a very last “Sad Party”. Aiming for the music to be “not too fast and not too slow, not too loud and not too quiet”, the songwriter followed a radical stream of consciousness approach for the lyrics.
Starting with lush and warm drones, the opener “Planet Arfth” sets the mood for Sin Fang’s fifth solo record just perfectly. This is goodbye, the wordless vocals in the background seem to say - but we’re going to make the best of it, counters the slow hip hop groove that takes center stage midway through the track. Soon giving way for slow and funky dream pop sounds (“Hollow”), “Sad Party” slowly picks up speed with intricately built rhythms (“No Summer”), piano-driven power pop (“Smother”) and even IDM-influenced electronica (“Goldenboy Is Sleeping”), before the second half makes the melancholy that comes with a farewell audible. The bitter follows the sweet.
After a wonderfully psychedelic gem (“Happiness”), a hazy midtempo rock ballad (“Never Who I Wanna Be”) and a shimmering downbeat piece that highlights Sigfússon’s abilities as a producer of experimental electronic music (“Cloudjuice”), “Constellation” serves as the perfect coda to the album. With its underwater lo-fi aesthetics and its psychoactive qualities, it ends the album with just the right amount of anthemic ambiguity.
Here’s to old places, new beginnings and, most of all, Sin Fang!