The new 8 track album Valtari, by ethereal Icelandic band, Sigur Rós is nothing short of incredible. If you are a Sigur Rós fan, you definitely know the unattainable level of excellence that comes merely from the breathy vocals of leading man Jónsi. If you don’t, he is known well for his unique vocal stylings that often channel a ridiculously peaceful ambiance and strange feeling of safety. Fans have dubbed his style “Vonlenska” which is Icelandic for “Hopelandic”. Vonlenska is a fictitious language fabricated solely of vocal sounds and syllables. The style eliminates the need for literal language, using sounds and melodies to convey moods and feelings in the same way that words do. The style is very similar to the concept of “scat” in Jazz music. The syllabic and emotion filled sounds often convey more feeling than words themselves could.
The band’s leading man Jonsi ^
Part of the magic of the band’s music is the fact that it is not in English. The abstract nature of the vocals and the drowsy nature of the background music (usually harps, bowed guitar, and floaty metallic drumming sounds) delivers a sweetly peaceful and comforting aura of just pleasant and beautiful sounds in general. Many of the songs from the new album have translated lyrics, which you can acquire from the internet, but personally I like trying to sort of, make up my own meaning based on how the song makes me feel.
Their music is introverted and sort of lonely but also very complicated and thoughtful. This is great music to sleep to, honestly. I argued with my friend about this the other day in fact, but this album really is so soothing, you may fall asleep before you finish it. My favorite album by them is their 5th album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, or the one I have dubbed, “The Naked Butt Guys Album”, see album artwork below:
This album is a little bit more upbeat if you find yourself intrigued but too sleepy with the new release.
You can visit the website for the new album, Valtari here.
And listen below!