Sigur Ros: Valtari (EI)

 |   |  1 min read

Sigur Ros: Varuo
Sigur Ros: Valtari (EI)

It has been some little while -- about four years -- since Sigur Ros last delivered a new album of their glacially epic sound, which for many had become beautifully executed and hypnotic but rather interchangeable. So you wonder what they might come back with.

Last year they seemed to have put a punctation point on the first phase of their career with the live album/DVD Inni

Their singer Jonsi had also offered a sophisticated if rather Teflon "pop" album (he also did the to soundtrack to We Bought a Zoo) so perhaps we might have expected a kind of "hope you like our new direction" album.

But no.

Sigur Ros return with the winning formula intact if erring a little more to the ambient rather than the consistent sky-scaling grandeur of their earlier work. This all sheets of voices -- arranged like a cathedral choir in God's waiting room on the soundtrack-like Dauologn -- and equally planar keyboard swathes designed with operatic sweep and which move from sometimes unsettling intimacy to the sweeping you up on the wings of angels.

There is always an undeniable and indefinable beauty about Sigur Ros, and here there are hints that new reference points might be the German group Popol Vuh (the wispery title track) as much as the canvas of their own design.

Interestingly the track Ekki Mukk - which sounds rather grubby -- is "translated" on the You Tube clip below as to mean "moving art", which is pretty much what this album is.

In slo-mo for the most part as on the lovely an understated closer Fjogur Piano . . . except when those angel wings take you higher and higher into swirling masses of clouds on the exceptional Varuo.

Business as usual in some ways, but not exactly the usual business in the world of contemporary music. 

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

Freddy Reddy - Jun 10, 2012

I have Heina DVD by Sigur Ros. Took me a while to get into but there have been moments of joy with this sound, most unusual.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various artists: Dreamboats and Petticoats (EMI)

Various artists: Dreamboats and Petticoats (EMI)

It's not hard to pull together a market-pleasing collection of early rock'n'roll hits (Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and so on). This Kiwi-compiled... > Read more

David Bremner: Gung-Ho (Atoll)

David Bremner: Gung-Ho (Atoll)

Subtitled "Virtuoso works for Trombone" this debut album by Bremner of the NZSO is a finalist in the Best Classical Album category at the 2009 New Zealand music awards*, and even if... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GRAEME GASH OF WAVES INTERVIEWED (2103): On the crest of new Waves

GRAEME GASH OF WAVES INTERVIEWED (2103): On the crest of new Waves

Back in February 2012, I pulled the sole album by New Zealand's Waves from off my shelf and posted the track Arrow as a From the Vaults entry. At the time I said this innovative self-titled... > Read more

BLUE SMOKE: THE LOST DAWN OF NEW ZEALAND POPULAR MUSIC 1918-1964 by CHRIS BOURKE

BLUE SMOKE: THE LOST DAWN OF NEW ZEALAND POPULAR MUSIC 1918-1964 by CHRIS BOURKE

In the introduction to Stranded in Paradise, his 1987 survey of New Zealand rock'n'roll from 1955, John Dix addressed the question he had been constantly asked, “What's happening with the... > Read more