Commercial Appeal

Sigur Rós Blog About Commercials With Music Very Similar To Sigur Rós

By Amrit Singh / September 27, 2010

In a post excellently titled “homage or fromage” (all lower-case because the band is nearly moby-like in their fear of capital letters), camp Sigur Rós give some valuable, free exposure to a string of commercials with music that sounds an awful lot like their own. It’s all phrased carefully to avoid legal liability (which is, as they point out, an ironic fear under the circumstances), but since we don’t have to worry about that in this case: These are commercials that straight rip-off some of Sigur Rós’s best known soaring eye-watery epics.

The post makes clear the band has lent their songs to film, TV, and charity, but have never allowed their music to “sell” anything, despite being asked quite often. Included therein is a redacted letter which is offered to illustrate a well-tread pattern in these instances: company solicits Sigur Rós’s sounds, company is denied, company makes commercial with sounds suspiciously like Sigur Rós’s. Because proving music plagiarism under present IP law is tricky at best (“change a note here, swap things around a bit there and, hey presto, it’s an original composition. Inspiration moves in mysterious ways”), they haven’t initiated legal action against these companies. But the companies’ commercials are posted, so you can decide for yourself. Sigur Rós are far from the first to suffer from this phenomenon — it tends to happen every time a sound or song sinks into the public’s consciousness at large, companies hopign to piggyback on those tracks’ popularity to suggest the comfort of their own products (there were so many “Clocks” legal rip-offs after A Rush Of Blood for instance) — but Jónsi’s crew are probably the most frequently offended in proportion to their relatively small record sales.

Here are a few they posted up, to help you relive their misery. You be the judge. (SPOILER ALERT they’re all guilty.)


Ripping “olsen olsen”:

Ripping “hoppípolla”:

Ripping “svefn-g-englar”:

There are more embedded at sigur-ros.co.uk, and if you have more — which surely there are — they kindly request you send ‘em over.