馃幍 脕tta (Sigur R贸s)

Listened Atta by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

脕tta (lit.鈥’Eight’) is the eighth studio album by Icelandic post-rock band Sigur R贸s, released through Von Dur and BMG Rights Management on 16 June 2023. It is their first studio album in 10 years, following Kveikur (2013), and is their first since 2012’s Valtari to feature keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson, who rejoined the band in 2022. The seven-minute lead single “Bl贸冒berg” was released on 12 June 2023 alongside its music video, directed by Johan Renck. Physical editions of the album are scheduled to be released on 1 September 2023. The band will embark on a tour from June 2023 backed by a 41-piece orchestra.

In Phil Mongredien’s review, he describes 脕tta as ‘disappointing homogeneity’. I wonder if the criticisms of the albums ‘unengaging’ nature reflects the challenges of the modern world where so much revolves around the ‘next hit’. If this is what you are after, then this album may not be it. (Maybe try Jonsi’s solo album Shiver?) However, I wonder if Sigur R贸s ever really fitted that niche?

Ian Cohen suggests that the album offers ‘equisite beauty’.

While he鈥檚 never made the same album twice, either as a solo artist or a collaborator or the frontman of Sigur R贸s, he鈥檚 also never made an album that turned out anything other than exquisitely beautiful, no matter how much he鈥檚 fought against it.

Source: 脕tta – Sigur R贸s by Ian Cohen

While NPR argues that this is an album for our times. In an interview with Bob Boilen, J贸nsi describes the album as heavy but hopeful.

It is interesting because when we were doing this album, there was this, I don’t know, maybe it’s just in the world we’re living now, but it’s this doom and gloom everywhere you scroll on social media and and everything kind of has this apocalyptic feel to it. The world is ending, nature is dying, climate disasters one after the other. Yeah, wildfires in Canada and a lot of wildfires in LA War in Ukraine and all this stuff. And we were kind of doing it at that time the war started and all these disasters. And I remember, yeah, there’s definitely something … not gloomy, but, I don’t know, something heavy but also hopeful [at the] same time.

Source: J贸nsi explains how Sigur R贸s made its first new album in a decade by @NPR

This balance allows the listener to make of it what they want.

I think what is most remarkable is that people take their own meaning from it because they don’t understand the lyrics. Or everybody makes their own meaning and interpretation in their mind. And I think that’s kind of amazing. You’re not like being spoon fed some specific lyrics, some love lyrics or something.

Source: J贸nsi explains how Sigur R贸s made its first new album in a decade by @NPR

I feel this album important for the moment in the same way that Mixing Colours was right for the start of the pandemic. It forces us to stop and consider.

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