For editor Mary's coverage of SXSW 2013, go here.
For TGTF team coverage of Liverpool Sound City 2013, go here.
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By Mary Chang
on Friday, 29th March 2013 at 6:00 pm
Sigur Ros hasn’t let losing bandmate and multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson affect their artistic progress; the Icelandic band will be releasing a new album, ‘Kveikur’, later this year. Here is the video for their 8-minute opus ‘Brennisteinn’, which sees the band expand from their usual experimental prog stylings into metal. Watch it below.
All you science types, have I got a feast for the mind for you. Take the world-leading facilities of the Jodrell Bank Observatory, and then stick some star-shattering speakers around the site. Presto, you’ve got the makings of one of the kookiest and yet family-friendly festivals you’ll come by any day. In 2011, Live at Jodrell Bank played host to the cornucopia of psychedelia that is Wayne Coyne’s Flaming Lips, alongside the kings of the music video OK Go and maritime doubleheader British Sea Power and Wave Machines.
While 2012 was cut short due to poor weather, seeing punters miss out on headline act Paul Weller on the Sunday, the first day again proved that the atmosphere when you gather a bunch of like-minded people around a big telescope is difficult to beat. Elbow did their thing in 2012 on the Saturday, and Guy Garvey said the festival was ‘a dream come true’: “All the thrills of space exploration for a band of the Star Wars generation, plus some pretty amazing cold war era hardware. Thanks to everyone who stood in the rain right through to the end, you made it the best gig ever!… ooooooh Jodrellites”
With that in mind, 2013 is set to be another triumphant year under the shadow of the Jodrell Bank telescope. The event will be held this year during the last weekend of August. Reykjavík-born soundscapers Sigur Ros will be looking to go stratospheric with their Friday 30th August headline set at this year’s festival. Drawing from six albums worth of material, it’s sure to be a night which will have thousands of onlookers gazing to the stars with joy.
Tickets are priced at a formidable £35 each and are available here now. Watch the Jodrell Bank preview below.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 13th September 2012 at 5:30 pm
Iceland’s finest Sigur Ros have revealed they will be touring the UK, albeit briefly, in March 2013. Tickets are on sale now. Under the tour dates is the new animated video for their track ‘Seraph’.
Saturday 2nd March 2013 – Glasgow SECC
Sunday 3rd March 2013 – Manchester Apollo
Tuesday 5th March 2013 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Thursday 7th March 2013 – London Brixton Academy
By Mary Chang
on Saturday, 4th August 2012 at 10:00 am
How confusing. In June we posted this video of Sigur Ros‘s ‘Varúð’. Now they’ve gone and made video number 2, filmed by Ryan McGinley (the same bloke that photographed Natasha Khan for *that* controversial Bat for Lashes album cover). Watch it below.
By Mary Chang
on Saturday, 9th June 2012 at 10:00 am
Here is the new Sigur Ros video for ‘Varúð’, from their latest album ‘Valtari’ just released last week. The video is part of their ‘Valtari Mystery Film Experiment’; take that as you will.
Imagine this: Sigur Rós get back into the studio for the first time in 4 years after taking a hiatus. They pick up their instruments and start to record the first few notes of their sixth record. Their only real decision to make is which direction to take their eclectic career as a unit. With the likes of ‘Hoppipolla’ gaining them an accelerated curve of fame from their near perfect ‘Takk’ and most recent record ‘Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust’ even breaking into the top 5 of the UK album charts, the knowledge that your work will be heard regardless of its merit is something that could’ve made many acts lazy. Not Sigur Rós.
What they’ve actually done is write their least accessible record yet. It’s expansive and rich in its tapestry, but there’s much less structure to it. Gone are the jumpy lines found in 2008’s ‘Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust’. They’re replaced by full sounds of choral lines and orchestral fills.
Opener ‘Ég Anda’ (Video of the Moment here)is a prime example of this as its string lines glisten in the background of Jonsi’s trademark gobbledygook lyrics. As a record, its much less approachable than any of their music before. ‘Valtari’ feels much more difficult to listen to than past efforts as there’s nothing really to draw the listener in. The most approachable it gets is listening to ‘Varúð’ in which it’s near impossible not to get snowballed into its incredible build. On its own, it’s probably one of the best tracks the group have ever written. It’s pretty much an artist’s impression of heaven in 6 and a half minutes. Without it, ‘Valtari’ really suffers.
It’s hard to say though whether these changes are a good thing. Whilst there’s so much beauty to be found within ‘Valtari’, you really have to dedicate your ears to it. The whole record demands attention as if in some way a little more regal than anything the band have created before. As a standalone record though, it never really lives up to those demands. In many ways, it’s the England football team of Sigur Ros records. There’s a lot of good tracks to be found, but it never really shines when the time comes. It’s fantastic in so many ways, but there’s no big finish. The comparison may be cheap, but the boot fits I’m afraid.
It’ll probably fit in to add depth to their already perfect live set, but as either tracks adding up to over 50 minutes, it just doesn’t quite match expectations.
Sigur Ros’s ‘Valtari’ is out today.