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On Sigur Rós’ ‘ÁTTA,’ heat and light push in the course of the darkness : NPR


Individuals of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós (left to proper: Kjartan Sveinsson, Jón Ϸór Birgisson and Georg Hólm) have launched ÁTTA, their first album in 10 years.

Tim Dunk/Courtesy of the artist


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Tim Dunk/Courtesy of the artist


Individuals of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós (left to proper: Kjartan Sveinsson, Jón Ϸór Birgisson and Georg Hólm) have launched ÁTTA, their first album in 10 years.

Tim Dunk/Courtesy of the artist

The track scene in Iceland could be very “small-d” democratic. Musicians may rehearse with a symphony throughout the day and play in a steel band at night time. It is subsequently no longer unexpected that Iceland’s liked experimental rock band Sigur Rós is kicking off its summer time excursion Friday with a 41-piece orchestra. The concert events are in strengthen of ÁTTA, the band’s first album in 10 years.

Sigur Rós’ track, with its lush layers of slow-churning grandeur, has incessantly commanded a symphonic really feel. ÁTTA, the band’s 8th album, manages to be its maximum majestic and intimate on the identical time. Strings, keyboards and vocals swell to dramatic heights, whilst bittersweet melodies glance inward for free up.

ÁTTA happened by accident. Even ahead of the discharge of the former Sigur Rós album in 2013, band contributors roughly went their separate techniques. Kjartan Sveinsson, the keyboard participant, started writing movie rankings and classical items, whilst singer-guitarist Jón Ϸór Birgisson, who is going by means of Jónsi, persevered his solo occupation.

The artwork for Sigur Rós' ÁTTA features a burning rainbow.

“It used to be more or less like an twist of fate,” Jónsi instructed NPR in regards to the reunion. “Kjartan hadn’t been within the band for 10 years and he came over me in LA and we did a recording jam consultation in my basement.” The 2 pals, who were making track in combination for over twenty years, began noodling round and inventive sparks ignited.

Then the pandemic hit and the challenge stalled. However later, after any other basement consultation, and the enter of authentic bass participant Georg Hólm, a brand new album, in all its darkish attractiveness, started to crystalize.

ÁTTA unspools like a symphonic track cycle, with frontman Jónsi’s high-flying falsetto incessantly attaining for operatic ecstasy in songs like “Skel” (Shell), which he calls “the emo track,” and “Ylur” (Heat) the place the singer remains aloft, using the spiraling thermals of strings and electronics. Perfumed in sumptuous reverb, ÁTTA‘s dense setting of sound makes it tricky to inform the variation between acoustic tools and the digital ones, particularly when Jónsi choices up a cello bow to play his electrical guitar.

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It is also exhausting to decipher the phrases — whether or not they’re in Icelandic, or what the crowd has often referred to as Hopelandic, a chain of made-up nonsense syllables. However like opera, the place you could no longer perceive the local tongue, it is the track — the band’s unerring manner of writing melodies that tug on the center — and Jónsi’s expressive efficiency that conveys all that is wanted. Some other track in Hopelandic is “Klettur” (Cliff), which sports activities a lumbering, concussive beat that unexpectedly halts to permit the heavens to open in celestial mild by way of large keyboard pedal issues and hovering strings.

The track of ÁTTA may, relying for your temper, come off as both gloomy or wonderful. Jonsi calls the album “heavy however hopeful” and admits it used to be written within the shadow of the pandemic and the battle in Ukraine. But there are rays of natural golden mild within the darkness.

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