Similar artists

Albums

$51.49

Ambient - Released January 25, 2019 | KRUNK

$10.49

Alternative & Indie - Released December 19, 2018 | KRUNK

Two years passed since Sigur Rós' debut. By this time, the band recruited in a new keyboardist by the name of Kjartan Sveinsson and it seems to have done nothing but take the band to an even higher state of self-awareness. Even on aesthetic matters, Sigur Rós entitle their sophomore effort not in a manner to play up the irony of high expectations (à la the Stone Roses' Second Coming), but in a modest realization. This second album -- Ágætis Byrjun -- translates roughly to Good Start. So as talented as Von might have been, this time out is probably even more worthy of dramatic debut expectations. Indeed, Ágætis Byrjun pulls no punches from the start. After an introduction just this side of one of the aforementioned Stone Roses' backward beauties, the album pumps in the morning mist with "Sven-G-Englar" -- a song of such accomplished gorgeousness that one wonders why such a tiny country as Iceland can musically outperform entire continents in just a few short minutes. The rest of this full-length follows such similar quality. Extremely deep strings underpin falsetto wails from the mournfully epic ("Viðar Vel Tl Loftárasa") to the unreservedly cinematic ("Avalon"). One will constantly be waiting to hear what fascinating turns such complex musicianship will take at a moment's notice. At its best, the album seems to accomplish everything lagging post-shoegazers like Spiritualized or Chapterhouse once promised. However, at its worst, the album sometimes slides into an almost overkill of sonic structures. Take "Hjartað Hamast (Bamm Bamm Bamm)," for instance: there are so many layers of heavy strings, dense atmospherics, and fading vocals that it becomes an ineffectual mess of styles over style. As expected, though, the band's keen sense of Sturm und Drang is mostly contained within an elegant scope of melodies for the remainder of this follow-up. Rarely has a sophomore effort sounded this thick and surprising. Which means that "Good Start" might as well become of the most charming understatements to come out of a band in years. ~ Dean Carlson
$10.49

Alternative & Indie - Released December 19, 2018 | KRUNK

Though it's not necessarily a bad quality, post-rock (especially as it trends to the more ambient side of things), can be an awfully passive listening experience, sweeping the listeners up in drifting buildup and inevitable crescendos without ever really confronting them. Challenging this paradigm, Sigur Rós get sonically adventurous with their seventh album, Kveikur, which finds the Icelandic three-piece delivering a darker and more aggressive sound on one of their most daring albums to date. From the opening moments of "Brennisteinn," the album's opening track that thrums to life through a layer of crackling static with a guttural, churning bassline, it's clear that the band aren't looking for gentle complacency from the listener. While the album might not be aggressive in the traditional sense, with big loud guitars and howling vocals, there's an eerie tension that runs throughout the album that counteracts the soothing flow of Jonsi's drifting falsetto, making the songs feel like a good dream that's always on the verge of going bad. While Kveikur isn't a complete reinvention of their sound, it's the kind of palette shift that shows just how versatile and creative Sigur Rós can be. Few bands can subvert the expectations of the listener quite like this, and even fewer can do it after seven albums. Kveikur isn't the kind of post-rock album that you throw on to listen to as you contemplate the changing of the leaves, but rather an album that explores the differences between the comforts of the day and the anxieties of the night, blending the bright and the brooding to create something bold and beautiful. ~ Gregory Heaney
$12.99
( )

Alternative & Indie - Released November 23, 2018 | KRUNK

$12.99

Ambient - Released January 25, 2019 | KRUNK

$10.49

Film Soundtracks - Released December 19, 2018 | KRUNK

$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released September 12, 2005 | KRUNK

A strange thing happens before the two-minute mark in "Saeglopur." All the twinkling and cooing erupts, at what might seem like eight minutes earlier than normal, into a cathartic blast of tautly constructed group noise -- or, as those who prefer songs and motion over moods and atmospheres might say, "The good part comes." "Saeglopur" is emblematic of Sigur Rós' fourth album, released nearly three years (!) after ( ). Nothing resembles a drone, and no part of it could be described as funereal. Even so, Takk... is still very much a Sigur Rós album, due in large part to the ever-present otherworldly vocals, but also because the only real changes are the activeness of some arrangements -- arrangements that deploy a familiar combination of bass, drums, piano, vocals, lots of strings, and some horns -- and some of the colors that are used. Despite opening with what sounds like a happy walk through a snow bank, the album is just as suited for a sunlit spring morning as ( ) was suited for a winter trudge across a foggy moor, so in that sense, it isn't a repeat and is more tactile than illusory, but it's not likely to win over anyone who suddenly felt an index finger push against the back of his throat while hearing "Svefn-G-Englar" for the first time. And it's not as if the band is suddenly writing three-minute pop songs, either. Half of the album's tracks are longer than six minutes, with extended cresting, sudden bursts of action, and a couple particularly fragile moments that seem to be on the brink of melting away. One thing to consider when wondering whether or not this band has changed in any way: they've gone from providing the background music to death announcements to "Sé Lest," a fluttering children's lullaby that is briefly crashed by an even more gleeful oom-pah-pah brass band. ~ Andy Kellman
$15.49

Alternative & Indie - Released December 19, 2018 | KRUNK

When Sigur Rós played the last shows of their 2008 tour, they brought in a filmmaker, Vincent Morisset, to document the shows and also decided to record them as well. (A decision that proved wise as the band’s future was thrown into doubt after the sessions for the next album were started, then shelved, and the band went on hiatus.) Inni is the collated result of two nights of live sets at the Alexandra Palace in London and features songs drawn from the band’s long career and, as with the rest of the tour, is played by just the core quartet with no string section or extra musicians. Sigur Rós hadn’t played such stripped-down (for them) shows for years and the sound just the four of them create is stunning. The guitars crash in waves of color and tone, the keys shimmer like clouds of birds, and the overall dynamics within each song are impressive. Add Jónsi’s otherworldly vocals (which don’t suffer at all from being live) and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a band that had perfected its sound over the years. The interesting thing about Inni is that, not only do the songs capture the hypnotic emotions the band can whip up and then hone in studio, they have an extra drive and passion that is almost revelatory to hear. The only complaint one might have about the set is that at two discs, it can be a long haul to get from beginning to end. That being said, if you’ve stuck with the band this long, you not only don’t fear the long haul, but you relish it. Though Sigur Rós were said to be working on a new album to come out after Inni’s release, if this ends up being their final release, it's a fitting album that sums up and shines a light on all the things that make/made the band so enthralling. ~ Tim Sendra
$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 2019 | KRUNK

$3.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 25, 2019 | KRUNK

$1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released January 18, 2019 | KRUNK

$12.99
Von

Electronic/Dance - Released December 19, 2018 | KRUNK

The heaps of praise during 2000 surrounding 1999's Ágætis Byrjun brought surprisingly little attention to Sigur Rós' first record, released in 1997. Remaining available only through the band's Icelandic label, it took some effort to obtain, but those who did get a copy probably found it to be just as adventurous as Agætis. Though darker and more fractured than the string-laden nooks of the follow-up, it's just as sprawling and outright bombastic. It's remarkable that such a young band would be this experimental at this stage in their lifespan, but the sheer breadth gets to be an albatross. Poking fun at '70s prog rock is just as easy as shooting at cement gargoyles on a suburban rooftop, especially when you're an indie kid or a fan of post-rock. But Sigur Rós makes Yes look like the Minutemen. Whittled down to 40 minutes, Von would be considerably more effective than it already is. As a mood setter, the 10-minute opening track really takes about three minutes to do what it needs, and a few other spots seem to drag on for the sake of sucking time. That doesn't prevent Von from being impressive, veering from Gavin Bryars-style aquatic minimalism to My Bloody Valentine-style dream pop. Varying states of isolationist ambience run throughout, whether evoking unrest or tranquil rest. You can practically envision a stray headboard floating through the Sinking of the Titanic-type passages, and the lush "Myrkur" comes from a planet where MBV's Kevin Shields and Kitchens of Distinction's Julian Swales are accorded the level or worship that Earth gives to Hendrix and Clapton. And then there's that voice, one of the most distinctly unintelligible voices since the Cocteau Twins' Liz Fraser. Boy? Girl? One would be hard-pressed to guess without liner notes. Based on pure sound, Von is just as much of a treat as the acclaimed follow-up. ~ Andy Kellman
$10.49

Alternative & Indie - Released May 23, 2012 | KRUNK

$3.99

Electronic/Dance - Released March 20, 2004 | KRUNK

$3.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 25, 2019 | KRUNK

$1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released May 27, 2008 | KRUNK

$10.49

Alternative & Indie - Released June 23, 2008 | KRUNK

With their fifth full-length album, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (translated as With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly), Sigur Rós have taken the poppy, sunshiny leanings of their previous album a step further into the light. The band has always been known for otherworldly soundscapes, and while there is enough of that here to keep the faithful happy, the band also writes straightforward, three-minute pop songs like the incredible catchy, sticky-sweet duo ("Gobbldigook," "Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur") that kick the album off like the first rays of the morning sun blazing through your bedroom window. That feeling continues on through the album as both the joyously soaring vocals and the buoyant melodies keep things floating happily on air. The arrangement of sound is quite different from previous albums, too. In the past their sound was characterized by a great wash of instruments merging together into great, gently heaving walls and waves of sound; on this album, for the most part, you can pick out individual instruments whether it's the acoustic guitar that underpins many of the songs (and provides the main backing on the intimate and quite lovely, and quite un-Sigur Rós-like, "Illgresi") or the lone piano that begins "Ára Bátur" (which does expand out into an epic undertaking with over 90 people including the London Sinfonietta and London Oratory Boy's Choir eventually playing on the track). Despite the few tracks that reach for the heavens, for the first time the band sounds grounded and stripped down. Songs like "Festival," with its pounding bassline and charging drums, and the melancholy album closer, "All Alright," which is based on a lonely piano figure (and features lyrics sung in English for the first time in the group's history), are firmly tethered to earth and shorn of excess artifice. In the past it was easy to be impressed with the sound of Sigur Rós, to be carried away by the grandeur of the band and be hit hard by the titanic emotions. On Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust you can really hear the human hearts behind the wall of sound, and while the emotional impact is on a smaller scale, somehow it is even more affecting. ~ Tim Sendra
$7.99

Folk/Americana - Released February 22, 2019 | KRUNK

$4.99

Alternative & Indie - Released September 12, 2005 | KRUNK

$10.49

Alternative & Indie - Released November 5, 2007 | KRUNK

After floating in the same cirrus clouds for a decade, it would seem that the time has come for a change. Not to say that the lulling orchestral swells or Jon Birgisson's schoolboy falsetto have lost any of their magic over time; it's just that after releasing 40-some similar-sounding songs with undecipherable lyrics, it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate one from the next. However, Hvarf/Heim isn't the album to mark a musical departure for Sigur Rós. The bandmembers show no real sign of abandoning their style, so it seems understandable that they would want to show fans another side of themselves. Disc one, Hvarf, is a five-track collection of rarities from their vaults. The handful of tracks doesn't quite make for a fulfilling full-length, but with two of the songs almost hitting the ten-minute mark, the disc's entirety feels much longer than a mere EP. Consistently sprawling and lunar, the songs would feel right at home on Takk... or ( ). The standout track, "Hljómalind," is one of the more concise and traditional songs crafted over their journey, with the traditional instrumentation of reversed chimes and bowed guitar delays sawing textures into the fabric of the song, just before giving way to a powerful rock chorus from the mouth of a gently meowing alien. The traditional slow build is ignored for dynamics, and an unusually tangible hook hits like an old-fashioned punch to the face. The second disc, Heim, is comprised of six acoustically performed versions of favorites from their back catalog. Surprisingly, these songs don't sound remarkably different from the originals. Even without an electric guitar droning, they aren't sparse or minimal in the least, due to an additional string quartet, Amiina, filling in the gaps to create a lush soundscape. The reworkings are subtle, but the versions of "Samskeyti" and "Starálfur" remain beautiful and are slightly warmer and even more fragile than the originals. Completists will find this double-disc supplement of material appealing, and new fans wanting to get a quick feel for the band will probably enjoy it too, but the true excitement revolving around this promises to be in the accompanying release of the Heima DVD, a documentary -- with gorgeous cinematography -- that follows Sigur Rós' 2006 tour of their homeland and features music from these discs, which is perfectly fitting for a slow-motion shot of an iceberg melting in a spring sunrise. ~ Jason Lymangrover