Percussive is the first word that should instantly come to mind when listening to Sigur Ros’ latest, Kveikur (Pronounced “quaker” but translates into “Candlewick”). Just take a listen to first single “Brennisteinn” or to the title track. Sonically, Kveikur is unlike anything Sigur Ros has ever done….even menacing at points (Again with “Brennisteinn”) but it’s all executed exquisitely.
It’s also one of their most concise albums. Maybe due to it being the first for XL Recordings? Or maybe Sigur Ros just refuse to be labeled a certain way? Or maybe it’s because of the quick turn around after last year’s Valtari? Whatever the reason, Kveikur is focused and strong from start to finish with only one or two tracks lasting beyond five minutes.
“Rafstraumur” is this broad piece that just continually moves fueled by Jonsi’s cherubic voice and Orri Páll Dýrason’s propulsive percussion. Dýrason continues to keep the pace on “Blapradur” while bassist Georg Hólm leads the charge with a hypnotic low end. “Isjaki” is another one that continues this trend of Sigur Ros sticking close to the Earth and not floating away into the stratosphere as on previous albums.
If you were a fan of Sigur Ros before than Kveikur is going to be pleasantly surprising. For the casual fan (like myself) Kveikur is the type of album that will pull you in and never let go.
Kveikur is out on June 18th through XL Recordings. Get your very own copy here.