Artist: Sigur Rós

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Inni preview

Sigur Rós are currently streaming the first 10 minutes of their new DVD "Inni" at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sigurros?sk=app_113345305387225

Sigur Rós live album/film details revealed

That new video thing from Sigur Rós? Turns out it's a teaser for the upcoming live concert video/double-live album "Inni", filmed by director Vincent Morisset in London back in 2008 and due out in November via . Hit up Pitchfork for more: http://pitchfork.com/news/43559-sigur-ros-announce-live-album-and-film/

Sigur Rós - Inni

Sigur Rós have a new video posted at their website as a preview for what I believe is the new album "Inni": http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/

Sigur Rós demos now streaming

Sigur Rós has posted a bunch of old demo material on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/sigur-ros/sets

Rökkurró - Í annan heimRökkurró
Í annan heim
12 Tónar

7

When talking about music, the word "Icelandic" has come to mean a lot more than where the band members hail from. With the consistently brilliant works of Sigur Rós, the talents of Mům, and Björk's wonderfully bizarre offerings, "Icelandic" has come to simultaneously define an ethereal, arctic expanse and an idiosyncratic and otherworldly landscape, with any deviations to one's conception of the term often being easily reconciled and folded into the wide-reaching designation. While "Í annan heim" may lean more towards a more traditional presentation of melancholy pop than their kinsfolk, Rökkurró will not be heralded as the band who broke the Icelandic mold, though this isn't to disparage their talents or sound. "Í annan heim" is home to quite a bit of quality songwriting, though, as a whole, the despondence is not always paired with intrigue -- the compositions, while beautiful, often pass without having convinced us to follow. The album does open up with repeated listening, and closer "Svamur" makes a strong case for one to start the album over, but I wouldn't be surprised if some never make it to those final moments -- those that find themselves wanting another pass through, however, will be happily rewarded.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

MP3: Kimono - Vienna

I don't get the chance to enthuse about much Icelandic music because, from my standpoint, most of the stuff that escapes those shores tends to be in the cinematic/ambient/postrock vein ala Sigur Rós or whatever, and while I've got nothing against it, it just doesn't do much for me. There are exceptions (there are always exceptions), but they are rare. Unfortunately for an act like Kimono, the press sheet for the US release of their latest album "Easy music for difficult people" touts them as a mathrock band which is a huge disservice because, in fact, they have far more in common with DC post-hardcore or other like-minded acts such as Barra Head. They certainly have the chops to be a math band if they chose that route, as you will hear in "Vienna"'s solo section, but never do they overwhelm with technicality. The emphasis is always on melodies and mood and while, yes, the rhythm section does take its twists and turns (further spotlighted by the thankfully sparse recording), non-musicians will not care. All in all, a quite nice and understated record that's been getting lots of regular play over here. More like this, please!

Kimono - Vienna

Ólafur Arnalds - ...And they have escaped the weight of darknessÓlafur Arnalds
...And they have escaped the weight of darkness
Erased Tapes

9

Falling somewhere between the glacial soundscapes of Sigur Rós and cinematic musings of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ólafur Arnalds creates small-scale, intimate creations meant for quiet contemplation. Not one to take the path of least resistance, and head straight for the obvious theme, Arnalds cleverly sculpts the nine mini-compositions of "...And they have escaped the weight of darkness" into understated gems, eschewing melodramatic excess and allowing them to slowly unravel over time. Opening with the barely there track "Ţú ert sólin" and continuing with "Ţú ert jörđinn", the first two songs act as a prelude to his dimly lit world, which finally explodes into fruition with "Tungliđ", a piano-driven piece that builds to dizzying string and percussion-filled heights. The album's start for all practical purposes, it's well worth the wait.

While a stunningly mature modern-classical outing, it's album centerpiece "Hćgt, kemur ljósiđ" that truly shows what Arnalds is truly capable of creating, and with any luck will act as a bridge to future work. Packed with an album's worth of emotional resonance, the track is a multi-movement gem, where Arnalds makes good on "...And they have escaped the weight of darkness"' promise, tenderly leading his listeners into a melancholy dawn.
- Laura Studarus

Jónsi - GoJónsi
Go
XL

5

When the album was announced in December, I wondered whether Jónsi's unfettering for his solo debut "Go" could signal a return to the emotive restraint of Sigur Rós' earlier work. At the time it seemed promising: "Go" began as an acoustic album, with kits by demure Múm stickman Samuli and early production by composer Nico Muhly. All of the pre-release teases seemed to indicate that a self-aware Jónsi was distancing himself from the annoyingly percussive bent of Sigur Rós' last half-decade.

And "Go" begins accordingly, with Jónsi's signature coo, studio-chopped into a startling twinkle. Elated, I imagined this reduction of Jónsi's emblematic voice indicative of the stripped, back-to-basics reinvention that this album deserved. I was wrong. It only took seven seconds to bury all hope under four-to-the-floor theatrics, the drum-heavy frenzy that trampled "Agaetis"' depth and subtlety, giving way to latter-day Sigur Rós' canned euphoria.

Even the album's bright spots are marred by Samuli's perplexing choice to lean heavily on Sigur Rós' drum aesthetics. The breathy breakdown on "Animal arithmetic" arrives, beautiful and intimate, but it's almost immediately carried off by a frenetic mess of percussive garbage. And though lead single "Boy lilikoi" has some catchy moments, its melodramatic sense of urgency is stultifying. The drumless tracks, then, are welcome, but they come off more as Sigur Rós retreads than any real change in direction -- fittingly, the album closer "Heniglas" is drone-for-drone the same elegiac statement as SR closers "Heysátan" and "Avalon". On the whole, "Go" is little more than a would-be Sigur Rós long player -- it takes few chances, and those it does take are drowned out by increasingly histrionic arrangements. Am I the only one who remembers the days when Jónsi effortlessly accomplished "epic" without being overly busy or stiflingly melodramatic?

Don't get me wrong. I'm still a Sigur Rós-lifer who will listen to this album on repeat, until the busywork of it starts to seem intricately wrought, my heart full-stop when Jónsi croons "o hjartađ" on "Heniglas". But when longtime producer John Best says he hasn't "felt this excited about a project since the time [he] first heard 'Agaetis byrjun', right back in 1999", he's just getting everyone's hopes up. Yeah right, John.
- Nathan Keegan

Jónsi confirms album release, tour plans

Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi has confirmed that his new solo album "Go" will receive an international release on April 5. Look for international tourdates to be announced on February 1 with shows starting in North America in April.

Jónsi Birgisson solo album on the way

Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Birgisson has a new website for his upcoming solo endeavor where you can hear the new song "Boy lilikoi": http://jonsi.com/
His new album "Go", composed with help from Nico Muhly (Grizzly Bear, Antony and the Johnsons) and produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, Tiger Lou, The Kissaway Trail, etc.), will be out sometime next year.

"Heima" available for online viewing

The Sigur Rós concert film "Heima" is currently available for streaming at Pitchfork for a limited time: http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/episode/2049-sigur-ros-heima/1

Interview: Magnus Ekelund (Elmo)

Fanfarlo - ReservoirFanfarlo
Reservoir
self-released

8

I'm more than a little late to the Fanfarlo party. Only last week did I first hear about them from the Sigur Rós mailing list, months after the release of "Reservoir" and the subsequent chorus of praise from the likes of Rough Trade, NME, and Brooklyn Vegan -- praise that is well deserved. Centered around Swedish musician Simon Balthazar, the London-based songsmiths temper their Arcade Fire-like sound with Scandinavian influences, at times bringing to mind Pelle Carlberg, Loney Dear, and Burning Hearts, though their inclination towards the atmospheric and epic flesh out these influences in pleasantly unexpected ways. The only issue I run into with Fanfarlo is that they are far better on tracks like "Comets", a track that wouldn't have felt amiss on Carlberg's "In a nutshell", than on the overtly Arcade Fire-esque "Drowning men". This is not to say that "Drowning men" is a bad song, it's not (in fact it's quite good), it just taps so strongly into the "Neighborhood #1 (tunnels)" vein, without filtering the idea through Fanfarlo's obvious talents, that it feels somewhat out of place on "Reservoir". That said, "Resevoir" is a fantastic album (especially as you can download it for $1 until July 4), pushing its frenetic pop structures to their limits, driving them down adventitious avenues and back alleyways, and constantly unveiling new layers upon repeated listening.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

Interview: Jónsi and Alex

Sigur Rós does the Take Away Show

Sigur Rós live at The Take Away Show: http://www.blogotheque.net/Sigur-Ros,4782