Sigur Ros - ATTA (Yellow Vinyl)

Regular price $ 40.99

In 2013, Sigur Rós released their seventh album (and sixth Icelandic number one), Kveikur; it was, for them, an unprecedentedly assertive, dark and clanging, industrial-tinged set that defied notions of complacency. After staying busy with side projects, soundtrack releases, and touring in the interim, they eventually returned to the studio for the highly contrasting ÁTTA -- Icelandic for "eight" -- their first album in ten years. Featuring the lineup of Jónsi, Georg Hólm, and Kjartan Sveinsson (without longtime drummer Orri Páll Dýrason), it was produced by the band and Paul Corley (Ben Frost, Oneohtrix Point Never) and recorded with the London Contemporary Orchestra, additional musicians on brass and strings, and intentionally limited percussion by Ólafur Ólafsson. Recorded in 2022 and inspired by the idea of unity in the face of overwhelming turmoil -- climatic, socio-political, viral, and otherwise -- the persistently warm and majestic, nearly hour-long ÁTTA often resembles a series of ambient, gradually expanding and subsiding, amorphous sound shapes more than songs. It opens with the relatively brief "Glóð" ("Happy"), whose humming orchestral textures and accents of distorted, heavily edited, otherworldly (and unintelligible) vocals fade in from silence, ultimately reaching lush, soaring heights by the midway point, like a musical representation of a sunrise. Next, the more song-like "Blóðberg," with Jónsi's earnest, unadulterated singing, is a poignant and hypnotic ballad with slowly pulsing washes of unison synths and strings. The closest thing to a driving indie rock track here is the denser, tenser "Klettur," which employs a deep, pounding drum for its more structured "verse" sections before dropping the drum, parting clouds, and reaching for the skies during its orchestral climaxes. Other tracks with prominent, affecting vocals include "Mór," with its enveloping layers of shimmer, and the echoing, piano-based "Fall," but ÁTTA continually juxtaposes sparseness and lavishness, low tones and high notes, and ascending and descending harmonic progressions, culminating in the nearly ten-minute epic "8," which includes the lyrics "Sånne ting som du har sett på filmer" ("Things like you put on film"). While not the project's most mind-bending or boundary-pushing album, it’s their most stunningly gorgeous, and a successful, timely countermeasure to the symbolic cover art depicting a rainbow in flames.

2xLP on Yellow Vinyl

Glóð 3:39
Blóðberg 7:16
Skel 4:58
Klettur 6:31
Mór 5:47
Andrá 4:07
Gold 5:13
Ylur 5:55
Fall 3:27
8 9:41