Sigur Rós Reveal New Album Details, Release First Single

This will easily be the band’s most divisive album to date.
Sigur Rós

Iceland’s favorite sons have just released details about their upcoming full-length, Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust (which translates into English as “With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly”).

Með Suð… appears to be a significant departure from Sigur Rós’ previous albums. It’s their first album to be recorded outside of Iceland, their first album to feature lyrics sung in English, and whereas previous albums have found the band laboring over every detail, Með Suð… was done in a much looser manner:

Inspired by the unfettered feeling of the acoustic performances filmed during Heima, Sigur Rós decided to adopt a looser approach in the writing and creation of Með Suð. The material for the album was written, recorded and mixed entirely in 2008 and is being released just one month after its completion. The album glows with the perfect imperfection of live takes, the sounds of fingers playing guitar strings, cracked notes, and a stark, upfront presence not found in previous Sigur Rós recordings, moving away from reverb-soaked guitar sounds towards something altogether more affecting. The record also contains some of the most joyous music the band has ever recorded.

However, that doesn’t mean the band has become any less ambitious in their music. One track — “Ára bátur” — has been touted as “the largest musical undertaking in the band’s career”, having been recorded in one take with 90 participants, including members of the London Sinfonietta and London Oratory Boy’s Choir.

You can certainly hear the band’s more “unfettered” sound in the album’s first single, “Gobbledigook”, which was released today as a downloadable MP3 and a very not work-safe video — click here for both.

A commenter over at Stereogum described it as “Animal Collective covering Dave Matthews Band.” Throw in some Steve Reich, and I’d say that’s a pretty apt description, FWIW. You won’t hear any of the band’s trademark crescendos and orchestral sturm und drang, just lots of yelped vocals, acoustic guitars, and tribal percussion. It definitely takes some getting used to, and if it’s at all indicative of Með Suð…s general direction, than this will easily be the band’s most divisive album to date.

Með Suð… will be available for pre-orders on on June 2, available in streaming format from the website on June 9, and will be released on CD on June 23. A special edition of the album will be released later in the year.

Enjoy reading Opus? Want to support my writing? Become a subscriber for just $5/month or $50/year.
Subscribe Today
Return to the Opus homepage