Best Band In The World alert. Thank you Sigur Rós, for making my post-holiday transition back to the internet so super great. This morning word spread that Sigur Rós’s new album has a name (með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust), a translation (“with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly”), cheeky (as in ass-y) artwork, a sample track, a free MP3 (IT IS SO GOOD), and a video. A very NSFW video (IT IS ALSO SO GOOD). And there’s more: Jonsi’s gonna sing in English! On just one track, but still, pinning down the man’s emotional conveyances via syllables with actual meaning will be a fairly new experience. There will be one tune in the journalist-coined Hopelandic language, but the rest will all be in the band’s native Icelandic tongue, which makes the title of the first single and free download, “Gobbledigook,” ironic in its own Rós-colored way. The band’s released lots of information surrounding the release via official statement, which we’ve pasted in full post-jump for the benefit of fellow obsessives, but here are the details in nugget form [this is a so very Not Safe For Work jump, people]:
- The album is 6/23 worldwide and 6/24 in North America out via XL
- Preorders start 6/2 on sigurros.com. Early buyers will get a stream of the record a few weeks before it is available to the world at large.
- The album was produced by Flood and recorded in New York, London, Havana, Cuba, and at the band’s home studio in Reykjavík. It’s the first time a Sigur Rós album wasn’t recorded entirely in Iceland.
- There’s a song with the London Symphony and a boy’s choir, making for 90 people playing at once on the track.
- The band is “moving away from reverb-soaked guitar sounds,” and the album “contains some of the most joyous music the band has ever recorded.”
Now about that joyous music…
…and watch the song’s video at sigurros.com. The entire bundle is indeed joyous, and not at all what you’d expect from the band — for its hard-panning Sung Tonging acoustic strums, for its tribal and polyrhythmic rhythms, and most definitely for the overall love of nudity pervading the proceedings. Here’s a still from the swinging, hedonistic vid:
Which is in line with the fleshy album art:
We can Sigur asses, guys. The cover art is a photo by Ryan McGinley, who’s credited on the video as well. He’s been shooting the band for six years, and happened to send this photo from a flyer from his recent photo exhibit just when band needed some artwork.
Yes. Reinvention is a dish best served nude.
Here’s the tracklist:
01 “gobbledigook” · 3:05 mins
02 “inní mér syngur vitleysingur” · 4:05 mins
03 góðan daginn · 5:15 mins
04 við spilum endalaust · 3:33 mins
05 festival · 9:24 mins
06 suð í eyrum · 4:56 mins
07 ára bátur · 8:57 mins
08 illgresi · 4:13 mins
09 fljótavík · 3:49 mins
10 straumnes · 2:01 mins
11 all alright · 6:21 mins
Sigur on tour:
06/05 Guadalajara, MEX @ Teatro Degollado
06/07 Tepoztlan, MEX @ Festival La Colmena
06/08 Tijuana, MEX @ Planeta Tijuana
06/11 – Omaha, NE @ Orpheum Theater
06/12 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
06/14 – Manchester, TN @ (Bonnaroo)
06/16 – New York, NY @ Grand Ballroom
06/20 – Neuhausen ob Eck (Southside Festival)
06/22 – Scheesel, Bremen (Hurricane Festival)
And the full LP statement (via sigur-ros.co.uk):
sigur rós will release their fifth lp “með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust” june 23rd worldwide (june 24th in north america). the album will be available to pre-order on sigurros.com on june 2nd and a live stream of the album will be available on june 9th for those who have pre-ordered.
“með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust” was co-produced with the band by renowned producer flood, and was recorded in new york city (at sear sound studios), london (at assault and battery studios and abbey road), reykjavík (at álafoss, the band’s studio, as well as a church in reykjavík), and havana, cuba.
the album title is translated into english as “with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly” with the english spelling of the icelandic album title being “med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust”
whereas sigur rós’ last release “heima” took the band to their homeland, their newest creation is the first album in the band’s career to be made outside of iceland. it is also their first album to feature vocalist jónsi’s vocals in english on one track. in addition to the english, one of the album’s tracks is sung without lyrics (“hopelandic”) and the rest of the tracks are sung in icelandic.
inspired by the unfettered feeling of the acoustic performances filmed during heima, sigur rós decided to adopt a looser approach in the writing and creation of með suð. the material for the album was written, recorded and mixed entirely in 2008 and is being released just one month after its completion. the album glows with the perfect imperfection of live takes, the sounds of fingers playing guitar strings, cracked notes, and a stark, upfront presence not found in previous sigur rós recordings, moving away from reverb-soaked guitar sounds towards something altogether more affecting. the record also contains some of the most joyous music the band has ever recorded.
opener “gobbledigook” sets the tone for með suð í eyrum… with its shifting acoustic guitars, playful vocals, time signature swings and swirling percussion, while “inní mér syngur vitleysingur” (“within me a lunatic sings”) sparkles as one of the most anthemic songs sigur rós have ever written. “festival” is epic in its elation and scope, “illgresi” features one of jonsi”s finest vocal melodies over a lone acoustic guitar, and “ára bátur” is the largest musical undertaking in the band’s career, as it was recorded live in one take with the london sinfonietta and london oratory boy”s choir, a total of 90 people playing at the same time. the band also utilised the talents of their string-quartet friends amiina, as well as a five-piece brass section on certain tracks.
Also, a note on the artwork:
the spirit of með suð í eyrum… is reflected by the album’s artwork, contributed by acclaimed visual artist ryan mcginley. mcginley first met the band when he photographed jónsi six years ago; the album cover was taken from a flyer for mcginley’s most recent exhibit i know where the summer goes, which happened to find its way into jónsi’s inbox just as the band was deciding on how to best visually represent their new collection of songs.
með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly) is out 6/23 worldwide and 6/24 in North America via XL.