Picture: Tim Dunk
Panoramic Icelandic post-rockers’ belated eighth album.
Nowadays a trio – singer Jónsi Birgisson, bassist Georg Hólm and multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson – Sigur Rós’s first studio album in a decade actually involves a cast a dozens, its ten, immersive tracks swept along on the London Contemporary Orchestra’s waves of swelling, soaring strings, the widescreen arrangements decorated by Birgisson’s distinctively empyrean vocalisations. Indeed, with lyrics delivered in characteristically liminal ‘Hopelandish’ and rock dynamics largely eschewed in favour of mostly beatless ambience, voluminous, reverb-soaked tracks like Skel and Klettur find the singer in hymnal excelsis, his signature falsetto carving out a kind of emotional calligraphy, effectively the aching lead instrument in an ethereal, celestial symphonia. At times, the tracks seem almost overburdened with poignancy - typically, the tectonic major to minor chordal shifts of Gold push Birgisson’s ululations into ever more heartrending melodic shapes – and everywhere a kind of voluptuous awestruck sublimity pervades.
Átta is out now via Krunk