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Pascal Pinon speak to Best Fit about upcoming LP Sundur and new single "53"

15 June 2016, 13:56 | Written by Laurence Day

We speak to Pascal Pinon as they announce new album Sundur and share its lead single "53".

Twin sisters Jófríður and Ásthildur Ákadóttir haven't released an album as Pascal Pinon since 2013's Twosomeness.

Pascal Pinon went their separate ways following that record - Jófríður with Samaris (who just released their third LP Black Lights) and Ásthildur to study in Amsterdam - and although they kept in close contact, the shift in lifestyles and separation inspired a record that looks at 'sundur og saman' - an Icelandic proverb meaning 'apart and together'.

Listen to the stark beauty of "53" below, and read our Q&A with Jófríður afterwards.

Could you tell us about how you wrote/recorded "53”?

"53" was written the summer of 2012. I had just made a new friend and he told me the story of his mother, who passed away when he was very young. It was a strange setting, the morning after a festival and we were sitting in a church. When I got home I kept on thinking about it; I was just 17 at the time and beginning to understand that people don’t live forever. I wished there was something I could say to him but I didn’t know how so I put together this song, as a kind of consolation or simply a message to him.

Why was this chosen as the first song to be released from Sundur?

I think it represents the album pretty well. It’s also the oldest track on it, so good to get it out first.

What should people expect to hear on the rest of the album?

Oh boy I wouldn’t know. We made it in such a haze, it’s hard for me to imagine what anyone will think of it. I used to love those songs, then I grew tired of them, then I hated them. After my dear friend Phil Weinrobe mixed the album and tidied up the recordings their core emerged again and the haze faded away. It’s a pretty sparse album, mainly focusing on the songwriting, but we were experimenting a bit in the studio, kicking a box full of metal junk for percussion and borrowing jammed synthesisers to name a few.

How did Sundur come together?

In pieces.

80% was recorded over a weekend in Hljóðriti in Hafnarfjörður. The rest we worked on it back and forth over a 9 month period, in various places and spaces. We were going to mix it ourselves but gave up and handed it to Phil, who mixed it for us in his studio in New York. Thankfully we did, he made all the nonsense make sense.

How does it relate to Twosomeness?

Sundur is the next chapter in our teen life story. Twosomeness was all sparkly while Sundur is darker.

They’re both intimate and fragile.

What was it like being apart?

It was a subtle but big change, like a slowly built up tide washing over. We didn’t realise anything until we were right in the middle of it, how much we had grown apart and how differently we approach things. We’ve always been different but we also used to live together, in the same house, same bedroom for years, we had the same friends and went to the same school but today we don’t have any of that. We took it for granted how easy it was to work on music together, we were effortlessly spending so much time together.

But it's not just about living far away and finding it hard to match each other’s schedules, we’ve also moved totally different directions artistically and musically. For a listener it might be either beautiful or confusing, as twins everything has to be fair. Our dad helped a lot with this, he was with us in the studio and if he hadn’t been there we’d probably never have completed this album.

What was the most important thing you each learned while apart?


What did you learn while making Sundur?

I can’t speak for Ásthildur, I do that too often and she hates it.

I learned to be patient and to listen. In fact I’m still learning and I mess it up.

Kindness, patience and resilience.

Are you going to be touring in support of the new album?

Yes, this November we will do some dates in Europe. More info to come!

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Brightness and stillness.

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