Following on the theme of the previous post, Sigur Rós‘ newest album release is one to undoubtedly add to the list of the sounds of summer. Although I was quite happy with their previous compilation Hvarf/Heim coming out not too long ago, the tracks had already been heard and only a few were among the favourites (‘Hafsól’, ‘Hljómalind’). However, it is understandable why such an order of things should occur as I quite imagine that this breathtakingly inventive Icelandic band have a much broader reception now than they used to during the time I first got hooked on Jónsi’s haunting vocals in 1998 (Von). Today with an ever-expanding audience waiting and eager to listen and spread the word, the compilation album was well-placed to provide a suitable stepping stone for anyone who wanted to get acquainted (admittedly, for some the sound will at first seem rather outlandish). But to anyone who is fond of or has just recently discovered the glory that is Sigur Rós, you are in for quite a treat…
Wisely teaming up with Last.fm, the band has for a while made Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (‘With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly’) available for preview, so naturally early-on I have known exactly what to expect. But I am very happy to say that I am certainly not disappointed. Out today, 23rd June and just in time for the Midsummer festivities, this album presents itself almost as though it were the seasonal opposite of the one preceding it. Whereas Takk… was a perfect one for the winter, Með suð í eyrum… is nothing short of summer bliss encapsulated in 11 tracks to enjoy in your ears endlessly. And with ‘Gobbledigook’ available for free download, you can easily hear what it is that makes Sigur Rós so unbelievably special.
The happiness that is created in the sheer light that emanates from many of the tracks on this album allows me to rest assured that their unique sound and phenomenal contribution to post-rock history still continues on strong, even in the face of criticism that Sigur Rós is going ‘mainstream’. It is enough to check out the video for the album’s debut single to realize that they are still very much rooted in their freedom: due to full nudity (lots of frolicking in the forest whilst bare-skinned and happy), their video will most probably expect limited media release (though thankfully for the internet, it is easy to come by). Directed by Arni & Kinski as inspired in collaboration with Ryan McGinley (see album art), ‘Gobbledigook’s video is available for free download, along with the G-rated pictoral version available on YouTube (shown below). Enjoy and have a Happy Midsummer!
Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust is out today in the UK.
Sarah Badr © MMVIII
See also: Sigur Rós (Official Site)