By Harriet Kaplan
Icelandic sisters Jófríõur Ákadóttir & Ásthildur, AKA Pascal Pinon are promoting their third album ‘Sundur’ due for release Aug 26th on Morr Music. The current single,“Orange,” is the sisters take on “minimalist folk.” The main themes in ‘Orange’ is wordplay (repeating phrases but changing one word to alter the whole meaning), diary- or a kind of memoir-styled lyrics and imagining you’re in a piano bar in the 50’s singing about your loves and tragedies.” Pascal Pinon’s third album is considered the Icelandic duo’s “rawest and most diverse musical statement yet.”
Recently, BOC caught up with ásthildur to discuss time being apart as sisters given they have such an incredibly strong and psychic bond and how that has impacted them creatively, their songwriting inspiration, the Icelandic music scene, having a father that is a composer and working together in the studio for the first time and more.
Was the time apart scary and/or liberating individually and creatively?
It’s kind of scary. I remember very well after this one tour our dad and i saying goodbye to ásthildur at the airport and then finding it weird ever since we were born we’ve found comfort and support in each other’s force but at the same time been fighting to express and declare individuality.
Where do you find your inspiration to write songs it is personal and autobiographical and I read in your bio you wrote ’53’ based on a conversation with a boy’s mother that killed herself. Was it the first time you approached a subject like that? Did you think that experience will open you both to explore other types of themes in songwriting?
Writing lyrics is to me a form of processing thoughts, sending a message or documenting something.
What is the music scene in Iceland like?
It’s a supportive community and creatively a nourishing environment that we feel happy to be a part of.
Your father is a composer. Did you grow up in a musical household? Did he encourage you both to become artists.
Yes both our parents played and studied classical music. We were exposed to a lot of different kinds of music at home and it has undoubtedly encouraged us to become artists.
What type of music did you listen to growing up and what influenced you?
Anything from The Cranberries to John Cage.
What is it like working with him in the studio? What have you learned from him? Is working the new album the first time you worked with him?
He helped us start the album and complete it. When things were difficult he asked us about it, offered to be with us in the studio and ended up having a lot of impact on the final result. I think more than he had intended to or even wanted to. We had a lot of fun, he’s and endless source of ideas and knowledge. It was the first time we worked on a project with him, he’s avoided influencing us as best he can, I think he wants us to do as much as we can on our own.
Do you think being in other bands and touring the world has broadened your horizons and scope? How does that affect or enhance your project Pascal Piñon?
Yes definitely. The only way to learn anything is by doing it so the more different things you try the more you gain from it. It affects everything i do and who i am as a person.
Do you both plan to tour around Iceland or outside of Iceland? What is next for Pascal Piñon?
We do! We’re going on tour in November.