Sigur Ros

Sigur Ros

Iceland's "Victory Rose"

 

 

Iceland's “Sigur Ros” have been described as a post-rock band, and they do make use of some rock instruments such as the electric guitar (played with a cello bow!). However, their music would be likely to appeal to any fan of New Age music, due to its contemplative and transcendent qualities and the profoundly calming effect it has on the listener.

I've seen them perform twice now, and both occasions were among the most emotionally moving and ineffably beautiful musical experiences of my entire life. I didn't buy any albums of theirs for a long time, simply because I couldn't imagine any recording capturing the depth of what I had experienced in their live show. It's been so long since I've seen them perform, though, that I have now reconsidered, because I just want to hear that amazing music again.

 

When you hear a Sigur Ros song, the words are usually not in Icelandic or English, but in “Vonlenska,” a sort of unlanguage of meaningless syllables. These syllables are not improvised as in “scatting,” they are actual lyrics in the sense that each song uses specific patterns of Vonlenska syllables. That might seem a little avant garde, but set aside the strangeness of the concept and just listen. Sigur Ros makes music that almost seems to come from another world, perhaps the world of the Icelandic elves. Before you chuckle at that, just have a listen. Iceland is a very special place, and Sigur Ros is a very special band.