Wednesday, June 25, 2008

with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly



Beauty and grace are offered yet again from sigur ró. It bursts with joy and sorrow. It is loud and crashing, ear grabbing and heart clenching. The beauty being offered is from the fifth full-length entitled, "Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust." Translated in English it means "with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly."

The record begins playfully with a song entitled "gobbledigook." The drums are contagious with it's almost tribal feel and sets the tone for the record, which reminds me of a mix tape. It starts off with a bang, offers something new and then moves into what sigur ros does best, slow builds and bursts that make the heart ache. There is a video that was made for the opening track and can be found at their website . I love the commentary the video makes. It is free and open, using your body and the nakedness to offer hope rather than shame. I like that the body, though naked, doesn't have to be engaged in crudeness or lurid sex but offers a new vision to how we use and treat the body. How it is offered to be free and open rather than shameful or full of fear...

The record continues with hope and moves to slow melodies become that are offered as a soundtrack to your life's heartbreak and joy. sigur rós is one of the few bands that recognizes the delicate balance of both joy and sorrow and it is offered with the melodies and harmonies of instrumentation rather than lyrics. Some of the highlights from the record include a 90 piece boys choir for track, Ára bátur. There friends in Aminna (female orchestration) were also a part of this record. It was mixed and produced in under a month so it's raw and imperfect and that gives it a feel that there could be more manipulation but this is where they are at. If I could only give myself that same kind of grace....

The true beauty of sigur rós is their ability to have the listener insert their own life into the journey. You have the ability to find and locate emotions or memories with their sonic landscape. It's a rare find in this Icelandic band. If you haven't had the opportunity to see their musical documentary, Heima please do. It's a journey home after touring for years globally and remembering where they came from. They offered the community free performances around Iceland and documented the natural beauty and splendor of the people and places of Iceland. This new release was formed from these "Heima (home)" performances. The stripped down feel of those performances offered the ability to engage making music in new and creative ways.

sigur rós is a favorite. I hope you can make it a favorite of yours as well.

2 comments:

Grant Wahlquist said...

Ryan McGinley, one of my faves, did the images for it. Check his work out - you'll dig it.

Christopher Kevin Casselman said...

"It starts off with a bang, offers something new and then moves into what sigur ros does best, slow builds and bursts that make the heart ache."

This is what enamored me with Sigur Ros. Their style of music is one that I can relate to. The "slow builds and bursts" do exactly what you suggest, "make the heart ache." Very original and brilliant is the language element of Sigur Ros. In a way, Hopelandic allows the listener to feel whatever they want. The lyrics don't restrict one's emotional response. The vocal is not emotive regarding specific subjects, but simply emotive proper. Brilliant...

Haven't heard the new record. Maybe this is my summer listen!