Two weeks ago, I heard the first sounds from this Icelandic group. It was the album Ágætis Byrjun, which is Icelandic for “an alright beginning”. Their music is really beautiful, much softer than for instance Björk. At first it made me think about The Gathering. But now it reminds me most of a giant evolution of the psychedelic music of Pink Floyd.
Their debute album, called Von (Hope) begins with a very intriguing introduction of two tracks Intro and Dögun (Dawn), followed by the beautiful Hún Jörð (Mother Earth). It is a pagan version of the “Our Father”.
Móðir vor sem ert á jörðu
heilagt veri nafn þitt
komi ríki þitt
Our mother, who areth in earth
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come.
Nice, nothing more to add…
This really must be the most strange debute I have ever heard; but it sounds great, almost like it is a record that you can use to test and adjust your stereo equipment to get the most out of their music. Every possible sound is contained in this one, low noises, high shrieks and everything in between.
Since their texts are all either in Icelandic or in their own pseudo-language Vonlenska (Hopelandic), I decided to do some language study on the first. The first step with every foreign text I get, is trying to read some text without any help of dictionaries or other documents. This might seem very hard, but since it is mainly a North-German language, it looks very much like Dutch and even more like Frisian. However, there are many gaps to fill still, so a dictionary is fairly obligatory. Luckily, there are translations available.
One of my housemates has seen Sigur Rós perform live and she said they’re even better then. So when they are around, I’ll try to catch a gig.
There is so much more to tell about the sound, but as always, it is better to hear it for yourself. So, my tip for this week: Sigur Rós.
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