The ShortListen: Sigur Rós (no. 334)
A stunningly dark video heralds the return of the Icelandic band
Who? Sigur Rós
What’s the story? Icelandic band Sigur Rós have now been active for 22 years, producing seven albums of unflinchingly astounding quality where they have pretty much invented and refined their own sound, primarily of course due to the utterly unique vocal style of singer Jonsi. With 2013's Kveikur a return to familiar territory, following the virtually ambient Valtari a year before - an understandable move given that it was their first record without founding member Kjartan Sveinsson - they now stand at a crossroads, deciding where to go next as a three-piece.
And we now have the first glimpse of their new direction - and it looks like it's seriously dark. The first half of Óveður features a little more synth bass than we're used to, but is otherwise unmistakeably Sigur Rós, but the second half veers off wildly into avant garde territory, with vicious percussive cracks, wobbling, warped strings and synths and a general sense of unease. Meanwhile, the video, directed by the acclaimed Jonas Åkerlund, follows suit with the second section featuring a gory, horror-esque sequence in a bar as the band members watch on. Dark and intense and deeply unsettling: we can't wait to see and hear more.
For fans of: Björk, Explosions in the Sky
In three words: Dark and unsettling