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BSÍ by BSÍ - krútt pönk

This self-titled record opens with 1-2-3-4 in Icelandic, and as an American, I initially thought the count-in sounded kinda cute. But a dark sound kicks in, Sigurlaug Thorarensen starts singing about "running out-out-out-out-out", and the drums and bass drive and drive, getting away from something chasing fast.

Thorarensen's stand-out vocals are naturally strong and crystalline, foregoing any frivolous inflection. They're really catchy, too. Julius Rothlaender applies solemn synths, like a curtain of notes dropped down at each chorus, then pulled back up at each verse. The rhythm section reminds me of post-punk bands like Gang of Four, but BSÍ's more introspective, ambient electronic textures replace shrill lead guitar. BSÍ is a two-piece, but their sound is fuller than most bands twice their size.

From Reykjavík, Iceland, BSÍ describe themselves as krútt pönk. I'm having trouble understanding what krútt pönk means; top Google results direct me to BSÍ's bio. Initially, I thought the term was akin to krautrock; however, krútt seems to translate to cute, which I thought might be some abroad cousin of twee. But beyond being cute, or cutesey like twee, krútt seems to promote authenticity, innovation, and defying categorization--all of which sum up BSÍ. Unlike my initial impression, BSÍ aren't simply cute, they're real, and raw. Released 9/7/18. Listen below.

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