Sigur Rós “Valtari” | XL Recordings | Parlophone | EMI Records
Icelandic group Sigur Rós are probably one of the most uncompromising bands around, adding to a chapter filled legacy that is somewhat supernatural on my senses. An orchestral divine character is always present in their albums. Sigur Rós at times makes me wonder if this really coming from them or are they just antennas to something bigger. 15 years after their inception and they are still transmitting this same angelic and heavenly gift through sound with their sixth full length album Valtari.
Enchanted into the blissful dream state that they evoke so well, Valtari is minimally shaped and of the hugest emotional magnitude. Piano sounds like it is dripping off of the recording, with lush overtones that sweep over the mind like a calming feeling of the sun hitting your body. The vocals are embedded deeply on this recording, moving in directions and shapes I could never even dream of. Every piece comes as a long form approach into the restrained and landscape driven scope the band pulls off so well.
It really feels like somebody put me on a boat while I was asleep and the waking moments of realizing where I am at become this albums beginning. My arrival to the beach of a deserted island is the middle way point to the album and the habitat I encounter becomes the ending. From front to back, it feels like one thing, not a collection of songs, becoming one full story with some of the most graceful, delicate and somber feelings to ever grace an album.
Valtari is one of their most delicate albums and has some of the most breathtaking earthly tones I have ever heard. This is music that puts me in a very specific mood and state of being, wrapping around my mind in a way that makes the album feel so alive. The falsetto of Jónsi Birgisson’ is highly imaginative and surprisingly rich in a multitude of textures with Valtari, making this record one of the most beautiful albums of the year so far.