Montreal’s Osheaga Music Festival got off to a strong start on Friday with performances by Florence and the Machine, Justice, Atlas Sound, and many others. M83 closed the festival last night. I was blown away by the Sigur Ros set. We at Undertow recently featured their latest video directed by Ryan McGinley. If you missed it, check it out here. On Friday, the band performed songs from their latest release, Valtari (Parlophone, 2012). The record resembles previous projects such as Takk, (), and Von. The titillating dynamics of each piece make for some of the most moving music around; spiritually, emotionally, and technically. They sound huge recorded, but they’re even more incredible live. I can’t even write about it. Go see them.
Maybe my anxiety about writing about Sigur Ros’ music is embedded in the very fabric of their project. Jonsi, the lead singer, sings in a language without words; what he calls “Hopelandic”. The sound of the language resembles human communication, but the words lack meaning. Yet, if you look at Sigur Ros’ tour dates, they are booked all over the world from Singapore to Vancouver to Reykjavik. The performance was revealing from a sociological perspective too. A sea of people flat out left the premises when they came on stage. The crowd had just been fistpumping to Florence and the Machine, singing how the dog days are over. On comes an instrumental, introspective band, and people shy away. Whether you want to hear it or not, Sigur Ros has something universal to say, regardless of what planet you’re from and which language you speak.
Hold your lover close and watch this.