Aldís Fjóla brings the mania back to the grunge movement. With a past that has been filled with isolation and an incubation for creativity-there was no elastic threshold on what she would create. What she has created now is a temple from the pain, anger and that feeling of being misunderstood. The pillars of rock and grunge. We see it channel out in her latest album, Pipedreams.
Your album concentrates on a grunge feel, but does not restrict itself melodically. Where do you think that decision has taken this album?
I think it has taken it in the right direction. Me and my co-writer, Stefán Örn Gunnlaugsson, met in his studio and talked about our inspirations, played around with melodies and then put some lyrics on them. It was all so laid back and organic that I’m very proud of our grunge album.
Every good grunge album has a strong opening. See Pearl Jam’s Ten, Nirvana’s Bleach. With Wasted, she creates a melodic premise, like Cornell would. It is a wonderful contrast to the darker tones of the guitars and background. The choice of progressions makes for a very interesting visual. A kicker for an opening track.
Emotional folds to express
Using pain as a tool for art is something that comes naturally, given your lyrics. How do you decide when to stop delving deeper into it?
Music and lyrics have always helped me heal and deal with my emotions, my rejections and all the hurt around me. Whether it was Skunk Anansie or Pearl Jam, the lyrics always got to me and when I was a teenager I wished I had experienced something so powerful that I could write about it. Even though no one knows what I’m singing about, people can relate to it and that is what I love the most. If I can help one person go through something by screaming my lyrics out loud I would be incredibly happy.
Burn holds on to the mystique, with some of the best lyrical and vocal overlap I’ve heard in rock in a long time. As we bridge using the minimal instrumentals, the explosion remains in the chorus. With a bloody edged sword as the riff, Aldís Fjóla creates a demonic entrance worth shaming metal bands for. It is a spectacle, truly, as you reel from the impact of this track for minutes after. Rearview Mirror comes next, with a Pearl Jam like energy. Which should be apt, given their song of the same name. The change is the special, twisting anti-climax that comes. Bridging the chorus, it is almost anthemic to follow along. Stadium rock can be on Aldís’ fingertips and you’d feel the key turn. The harmonics bring about goosebumps, from the lyrics to the way they have been executed.
Finding your own path
How do you think your upbringing, in semi-isolation, has impacted your musical choices?
I am the youngest of four siblings, and the only girl, so my brothers had full control of my musical taste until I moved to a dorm in my high school at the age of 16. So of course that had a huge impact on my musical taste. My brother Magni, closest to me in age, threw Pearl Jam, No Doubt, Soundgarden, Metallica, Nirvana and so many other bands my way and basically ordered me to listen to it. One of the best things that happened to me.
The title track comes next, with a much slower, deliberate opening. This is a cinematic shift from what has been her album till now, strafing silver bullets. It brings to memory Metallica’s stint with the SF orchestra. It is incredible to listen to, a contrast to the rock that has majorly dominated her album. Crossfire tends to lean towards a Soundgarden acoustic vibe. The atmosphere tenses up and eases within the song itself. Incredible production allows you to hear each layer with superb detail. As the chorus brings in the frenzied energy, Aldís Fjóla proceeds to shift between the aggression of the chorus and soothing melodies of the verse.
Aldís Fjóla-creating avenues
With this EP, it is understood in a way that you are rooted to grunge. Would you consider exploring other genres?
Of course! I have dipped my toes in various music genres through the years and love singing blues, pop and also just play around karaoking through the night trying out all sorts of things.
In terms of sound, what do you want your audience to experience? What do you consider most important in live performances?
I hope the audience closes their eyes and goes on a grunge journey with me. Regarding live performances, I think the most important thing is to let go, that the band has fun up on stage and throw the words out with emotions.
Brenndu Brýr is the Icelandic translation of Burn. It impacts differently, stylishly with her vernacular approach. Though I could understand only the English counterpart, I felt the confidence in her vocals to be more explosive here. Aldís Fjóla has chosen to create somethAing inspiring, amazing and thematic with her album. I was reminded of instances from American Satan for the kind of rock that has been executed on this album. It would go well with the theme and how she’s written the lyrics as well. Follow Aldís for some great, multi-faceted grunge and rock. This is a bona fide rockstar from her roots.