Sigur Ros decided to live stream their new album, Valtari, online as a preview (it will be released May 29). The album played every hour on the hour (7 pm) in every time zone. Since I’m a big fan, I decided to write down my opinions of the album as it played.
1.”Ég anda” (I Breathe)
When the song began, I want to say my ears immediately felt wet as if someone had slowly poured a cup of water into them. The title makes wonderful sense as throughout the song I felt like I was coming up for air. The song drastically changed two minutes in and became a bit more chaotic. It held on to that trance like feel as the song slowly began to build and what a build it was! When the drop finally came, I felt as if the air had been knocked out of me.
2.”Ekki múkk” (Not a Sound)
Having already previewed this song before this stream, I didn’t expect it to surprise me as much as it did. It came in a lot more trippy and broken up than the first track and I found myself falling in love with it all over again. The static heard throughout the track, to me, sounded like crackling fire. Goosebumps covered my arms. Literally. About ten times in this track. It is absolutely beautiful. Jonsi’s (frontman) voice is like liquid, slowly flowing inside your head and taking over your body. The song slows down drastically towards the end. A beautiful track. Probably my favorite on the album.
The transition into the track isn’t as smooth as between the first two as an untuned piano begins a slow melody. The vocal melody is quite different than the first two tracks, but the chorus is absolutely mind-blowing. A chorus of angels, in my opinion. Absolutely love the build .. the chorus of voices, the drums .. the piano. Everything is just perfect. Almost brought me to tears. Even when the song faded out with just the vocals … oh my goodness. Chilling. My second favorite on the album.
4.”Rembihnútur” (Tightly Knotted)
This song began a little darker than the others and fit the title appropriately. The jumbled piano line was beautiful as well as the fast intense string line. Everything changed when the vocals began. More chills and goosebumps. AND THE CHORUS …. absolutely breath-taking. Throughout the beginning of this song, I felt myself becoming “tightly knotted” and as the song progressed, slowly becoming undone. Wonderful. This was the shortest song on their album, yet it did not cease to impress.
5.”Dauðalogn” (Deadening Calm)
This song appeared recently on the The Vampire Diaries Season Finale (which I watched and cried when I heard this song). Deadening Calm is the perfect title for this beautiful masterpiece. The mood is completely different and the vocal melody is so raw and saddening. Not much to say, it’s just so wonderful. My third favorite track on the album.
A beautiful transition into this track with a lovely piano line which slowly picked up speed as the song progressed. Very quietly you hear a broken up, repeated vocal melody begin. I immediately felt as if I was in the woods walking around and listening to nature (there was also some faint whistling that sounded like birds). As the song came to a close, the only thing remaining was the piano line (beautiful). The song remained instrumental throughout and, although peaceful and relaxing, felt empty to me.
As the longest track on the album, as well as the title of the album, I was prepared for something great and I was not let down. The song began very mechanically with a much different sound than the rest of the tracks, but changed midway through to whistling and chimes/bells and a slow build. Although a wonderful song, it was not my favorite.
8.”Fjögur píanó” (Four Pianos)
The final song on the album began with a single beautiful piano line (figured since the song is titled four pianos) and I crossed my fingers for a wonderful mix of piano in this track. I was not disappointed. A second more broken piano line soon began, but fit perfectly with the beginning piano line. Gosh, this track is so beautiful, I would play it in my wedding ceremony! The song eventually adds the rest of the piano lines and melds together so perfectly … such a beautiful song. The pianos die out, however, after five wonderful minutes and the rest of the track feels, to me, as a tribute to the album. A nice bookend.
Overall, the album was everything I pictured it would be. After listening to this album, I swear there is Heaven and God … and it is Valtari and Sigur Ros.
You can pre-order the album here: http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/valtari/preorder/
Valtari will be available for purchase on May 28th.