Song of the Day: Grísalappalísa – Allt Má (Má Út)

photo by Magnus Andersen

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. This week, we present songs by artists performing the 2014 Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. Today’s featured song is “Allt Má (Má Út)” by Grísalappalísa from the 2013 album Ali on 12 Tonar.

Grísalappalísa – Allt Má (Má Út) (MP3)

Grísalappalísa, the name comes from a song by Megas, the iconoclastic Tom Waits-ian Icelandic singer, and translates to something like “Pig Leg Lisa”. Tapping into a range of influences from krautrock, post-punk, and free jazz, this relatively new band is one Reykjavik’s most potent live acts. Though their songs are completely in Icelandic, their unbridled energy and raw emotion are unmistakeable. And you can probably also tell through sneers of co-vocalists Baldur Baldursson and Gunnar Ragnarsson that there’s a subversive lyrical streak to their songs, which apparently are quite clever. (If you’d like to know more about how “lyrical” and “trashy” their lyrics are, check out these reviews here and here.) Apparently, today’s featured song, “Allt Má (Má Út)” (meaning “Everything Is Allowed (Allowed To Be Erased)”) is a Dantean journey of an alcohol-fueled night (one too easy to experience in during Airwaves, I might add), but you don’t need to know exactly what they’re saying to appreciate the dynamic intensity, bringing to mind The Birthday Party and Gang of Four among fellow Icelandic groups.

Grísalappalísa will perform today on KEXP’s broadcast from KEX Hostel in Reykjavik at 10:00AM PST. Find out more about our broadcast during Iceland Airwaves here and more about Grísalappalísa on their Facebook page. For now, here’s a video of “Skrítin birta”, another song from the new album:

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