By Andrew Johnson
This ethereal Icelandic rock band has some serious staying power, despite their general lack of intelligible words. The band was formed in 1994, and has consistently put out albums (6 total) every few years. Taking a hiatus in 2010, luckily Sigur Ros came back strong in 2012 with beautiful songs for Shia LaBeouf to dance naked to. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below, which really does include nudity, so hide the children!
Singing in falsetto, the band’s frontman Jonsi Birgisson uses pitches and melodies that often sound like real words, but 90% of the time are just gibberish. Dubbed “Vonlenska” in their native land (and Hopelandic here in the States), the language is extremely soothing and works seamlessly with the sometimes operatic music.
If this song had lyrics, they’d be about butterflies. Butterflies, and Shia’s wang. (Editor’s note: Wang?! Really Andrew? )
Depending on the song, you may be reminded of Radiohead at times … until 40 seconds or 5 minutes later when the song shifts gears, raises an octave, and comes alive. Listening to a Sigur Ros album is certainly an experience. For every five ambient songs, there seem to be 2 songs laden with reverb or noticeably louder instrumentation, and another song that is near silence. I wouldn’t call their albums “concept albums,” but they certainly invoke a specific feeling when you tune in for the whole show. Find out for yourself how their sounds makes you feel: check out their website http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/ where you can see videos for valtari, their newest album, created by twelve directors trying to capture the feeling of the album in film.