ABOVE: BARðI JOHANNSSON (BANG GANG). PHOTO COURTESY OF XI SINSONG.
Upon the first—and second, and even third—listen, the latest single from Iceland’s Bang Gang sounds like a typical love song. Upon speaking with the man behind the music, Barði Jóhannsson, however, it becomes clear that “My Special One” is written about his daughter, not a lover. “This song was written on one of my travels,” the musician and composer explains. “It is my attempt to express how I feel when I am miles away from my daughter, to express my love to her, how I miss her when she is not with me, and this unbreakable bond that crosses all borders.”
Here we are pleased to premiere “My Special One,” which, true to its inspiration, is filled with languid and woeful, yet hauntingly beautiful acoustics and softly sung, loving lyrics like, “I miss you like it’s the last chance / To hold you / To have you / In my arms again,” and “Even when I’m far away / You are with me every day / We have a bond that no one will break / You take my life to a higher place.” Additionally, the track will appear on the musician’s forthcoming album, The Wolves are Whispering—Bang Gang’s first in seven years. “For me, music is a cleaning process. Most of the lyrics are inspired with what I have lived or what I have seen,” Jóhannsson says. “The main theme of the new album is separation in many forms—breakups, death, and not having the one you love close to you all the time.”
Although Jóhannsson hasn’t released an album under the name Bang Gang since 2008, he’s been challenging himself to grow in various ways. “I performed a full acoustic concert for the first time in my life. Before I had only performed with a full rock band or orchestra,” he says. “I also mixed the new album myself—it is the first time I mixed my own music.” In addition to personal feats such as these, he also started a new band with JB Dunckel called Starwalker, scored multiple films (including Would You Rather and The Finishers), and co-wrote an opera, Red Waters, with Keren Ann under the name Lady & Bird, that is now being adapted into an animated film. As the artist says himself, “With more time, I realize that we need to be open for everything that is fun and breaks up the daily routine.”
THE WOLVES ARE WHISPERING WILL BE OUT JUNE 23. YOU CAN BUY “MY SPECIAL ONE” NOW VIA ITUNES.