Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Music You May Like: Sigur Rós

Many of you may already be familiar with Sigur Rós; they are an Icelandic band who make music unlike anything else - slightly surreal, yet utterly unpretentious. It's wavy, dreamy, and floaty, but not in a shallow or new age kind of way. They are like an Icelandic Radiohead that has found inner peace. You may or may not like it, but it is definitely worth a listen to find out. I prefer to listen to it 1) while working late at night 2) while trying to sleep in a noisy area 3) while riding public transportation or driving at night and 4) while whacked out of my mind on Oxycodone (joking!)

Thankfully, since Sigur Rós is an enlightened group (a trait I imagine common to Icelanders - well, at least since they got over that whole Nordic pillaging thing), they have made much of their music available for free online. This is the band's download page.

Songs I would suggest starting with:

Untitled #8

Untitled #4


Olsen Olsen



James said...

I used to be a big fan of Sigur Rós. I can't think of any reason why I'm not now other than I'm trying to listen to new artists. Most of their greatness, I think, can be put down to Kjartan Svenisson who plays keyboards and does the string arrangements. The other tracks on the first half of () are very good too. The scratchy lo-fi radio wave effects at the beginning of the second track (CDDB incorrectly has to identify them as 'Untitled #1', 2 etc when they are really devoid of any titles) help to create an isolated, cold feeling that just sums up how I'd imagine Iceland to look like. I couldn't get into Ágætis Byrjun as well - perhaps as Jonsí's singing takes a while to grow on you but my favourites on it are 'Svefn G Englar' and the excellent title track at the end, especially when you listen to it while reading the English translation of the lyrics. The albums I don't have are Von and takk... You didn't mention any tracks from that album. The obvious one would be 'Hoppípolla' which the BBC tends to use an awful lot for trailers. It has a great video too.

A friend from Brazil has a website of album reviews and I have to agree with pretty much everything he's said about the Sigur Rós albums on there - link. (it's been ages since I've contacted him so I don't know if it's still maintained or not)

Rovex said...

I love Hoppipolla from the album Takk. It was used to advertise the BBC series 'Planet Earth'. It brings tears to my eyes.

Christopher Chandler said...

James, your friend's reviews are very thorough, and pretty insightful, too. I would say I agree with them too

I agree with you that Svefn G Englar is a gorgeous song - I was actually listening to it while reading your comment - I really like () and takk, though I am not as familiar with them. The last song on () is probably one of my favourite SR songs. I'm not as familiar with Von.

I chose the five tracks that I did in the post because I felt they were the most accessible of the songs available for download (and those were mostly from Ágætis Byrjun.) If that limitation was not there, I would have picked many, many more :)