After the punishing one-two punch of Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music and El-P’s Cancer For Cure releases over the past week or so, the return of Sigur Rós comes as something of a welcome relief from all that intensity. The beloved Icelandic group are back with their sixth studio LP, Valtari, following frontman Jónsi Birgisson’s venture into more pop-oriented material with his wonderful 2010 solo début Go and last year’s We Bought a Zoo soundtrack. Valtari marks their first new music since 2008′s Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust – although fans were kept occupied by last year’s live LP/DVD Inni – and it finds them in an understated, subtle mood; the band describes the material as “floaty,” “minimal,” and “introverted.” Valtari is perhaps better understood as a suite of songs, with track changes barely registering as its gorgeous, spare 54-minutes washes over you. Thanks to NPR, you can stream the entire album below, and I’ve also included the bonus track ‘Kvistur’, which was released as a b-side to the lead single ‘Ekki Múkk’ on Record Store Day. Sigur Rós also released an odd video this week for ‘Ég Anda’, which is apparently the first of 12 in a series by guest directors, and essentially serves as a step-by-step visual manual on how to prevent someone from choking.
Valtari will be released May 28. Stream the album below (via NPR).
Listen to the bonus track ‘Kvistur’ below.
Watch the Ragnar Kjartansson-directed video for ‘Ég Anda’ below.