Monday, January 25, 2010

Sigur goes solo

The frontman of Icelandic quartet Sigur Ros is called Jónsi Birgisson. That's him warbling away in a completely made-up nonsense language on tracks like Starálfur and Hoppípolla. With his delicate, lispy falsetto, he sounds like a children's TV presenter during the rapture.

With Sigur Ros taking a break in 2010, Jónsi has recorded a solo album. To my ears, it sounds almost exactly the same as the material he records with his bandmates - orchestral, celestial, spiritual, elegiac, exhilirating, uplifting and warm. In essence: distinctly non-rubbish.

The main difference between Sigur and Jónsi is that he's supposed to be singing in English. In principle, this means that every so often you catch a snippet of a syllable that you think you might recognise. He might be saying something horribly racist, or claiming to have shagged your dad, or be advocating something really offensive - like imagining Mika naked, or imagining Mika clothed, or imagining two Mikas (*shudders involuntarily*). But we will never know.

No matter what he's saying, the music is wonderful and joyous. The first taster is a song called Boy Lilikoi, which saunters along prettily for three minutes before bursting into a great big sonic hug of strings and harmonies and rolling drums. You can listen to it below, but beware - it'll make you want to do back-flips around the living room.

Right-click here to download the track [link fixed 25.01.10]

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