The Queer Song is an upbeat summer single by the quirky and fun band Eva. The members actually think that it might very well become an international queer anthem since it entails many letters in the queer alphabet.
“The alphabet is getting a bit hefty and we are prepared to update the song if some letters are added to it. But I personally think that many need this sort of explication. People tend to be afraid of these “new” definitions and turn up their noses at the fact that the term “gay” doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s simply not a satisfactory umbrella name for all of those who are part of the queer community today,” says musician Sigríður Eir Zophoníasardóttir.
Sigríður is one half of The Band Eva (Hjómsveitin Eva), along with Vala Höskuldsdóttir. They’re known for not taking themselves too seriously and writing lyrics that will make you smile, even giggle, whilst absorbing a noble and often philosophical message. Their new summer song, The Queer Song, is exactly in that spirit. It was written some two years ago but just hit the airwaves.
“We released a CD in November of 2013, which we funded on the crowd funding site Karolina Fund. One way of donating money was to order a song about a specific subject. We got a few orders, too many if anything, and just last week we delivered the last song: The Queer Song,” says Sigríður. “The Queer Song was ordered by Pink Iceland, travel agency and wedding planner. They wanted a song that could be a theme song for them and it had to entail all the groups belonging to the queer umbrella. That rigmarole is quite long, LGBTQQIP2SAA, but we managed to fit the whole queer abbreviation in the song which we are extremely proud of. So, we can thank Pink Iceland for its creation,” she says with a smile.
“… the music industry in Iceland is controlled by the white, hetero sexual, non-disabled man on the radio. So everything that we, “the others” , do is a good step forward.”
I wonder if the song could appeal more to the queer community, giving the subject matter. The musical and whimsy women ladies agree with me.
“Yes, we think we even managed to write a new, international queer anthem, even though I think and pray that the freedom of the individual to be who he, she or they are is something that everyone can relate to,” says Vala, convinced that The Queer Song will stick to people’s brain.
“At least, I think everyone can wiggle to the whistling in the car on the way home.”
Both Sigríður and Vala say that they think that the world needs more queer music in general and queer musicians as well.
“Pop music has influence, it’s socially and opinion formative and all music that has to do with something else than the hetero normative society does its job to level the playing field,” Sigríður points out. “I also have to mention that the music industry in Iceland is controlled by the white, hetero sexual, non-disabled man on the radio. So everything that we, “the others” , do is a good step forward.”
As said before the message of The Queer Song’s is in line with topics that the ladies in Eva have been known to write about. Its style however is more pop infused than the band’s fans might be used to. The ladies say that was simply an accident.
“We always write songs that have to be written, about things and subjects that need a song, so the words and meanings are always in the forefront and our driving force,” Sigríður explains. “What the melody sounds like just emerges when we sit down and write the music. Will it be a melancholy folk melody, a pop song or punk? I sometimes feel that the song just writes itself and that we’re only spreading it out. Therefore we have limited control over in which style the song will be. Does this make any sense?” she ask with a pondering look on her face and turns her head to Vala.
“Absolutely,” Vala answers without a second thought.
“We always write songs that have to be written, about things and subjects that need a song, so the words and meanings are always in the forefront and our driving force.”
On a more personal note, the ladies tell me that band won’t be performing much this summer, due to family circumstances.
“The summer will mostly be family time,” says Sigríður. “Vala just had a son and I am expecting a child in July, so we’re just going to take care of our children and wives and enjoy the summer. Grow some salad on the balcony, take long walks and so on. But we will of course take some sort of part in Reykjavík Pride, which is a unmissable part of the summer.”
But does the duo intend to make it an annual tradition to release summer songs like The Queer Song?
“Yes, that’s a very good idea and is here by set in motion.”
Photos: Rut Sigurðardóttir.