MUSIC NEWS - Sigur Rós [Jón Þór Birgisson (vocals, guitar), Georg Holm (bass), Kjartan Sveinsson (keyboards/piano), Orri Páll Dýrason (drums)] will return with their sixth studio album, Valtari, on XL Recordings on May 29, 2012. The first track from Valtari, entitled “Ekki Múkk,” is now streaming on the band’s website. To make it even more exciting, Valtari will be released on double LP, CD and digital download and will be their first studio album since 2008’s acclaimed Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, and fortunately marks the end of their indefinite hiatus and was recorded by the band at Sundlaugin Studio, Mosfellbaer, Iceland.
Btw, in English, Valtari translates as “steamroller,” and there is something right about the title in terms of the process of its creation. In 2011, the band, alongside mixer Alex Somers, started the painstaking forensic task of piecing together a cohesive and magical work from disparate constituent parts.
In 2010, singer Jónsi went off to make, and then tour, his expansive, critically-acclaimed solo album Go, while keyboardist Kjartan spent time on his classically-inclined, unreleased work, ‘Credo’. Time slipped by. But then a film scoring opportunity led to the creation of the towering and majestic “Varúð,” the record’s centerpiece; and shortly thereafter, scouting around for a closing credit song for last year’s live film, Inni, the band unearthed “Lúppulagið,” which in its reworked choral form is here titled “Varðeldur,” one of the album’s most understated and elegant songs. And slowly, what had seemed like a collection of isolated-but-interesting recordings, for the first time felt like the viable way towards a strangely cohesive body of work.
But the process of making Valtari, and the powerfully pleasing end results, are perhaps best described by bassist Georg Holm: “I really can’t remember why we started this record, I no longer know what we were trying to do back then. I do know session after session went pear-shaped, we lost focus and almost gave up...did give up for a while. But then something happened and form started to emerge, and now I can honestly say that it’s the only Sigur Rós record I have listened to for pleasure in my own house after we’ve finished it.”
Valtari track listing:
1. Ég anda.
2. Ekki múkk.
8. Fjögur píanó.