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

Átta (lit. ’Eight’) is the eighth studio album by Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, 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 “Blóðberg” 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 Átta 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 Rós ever really fitted that niche?

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

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

Source: Átta – Sigur Rós by Ian Cohen

While NPR argues that this is an album for our times. In an interview with Bob Boilen, Jónsi 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: Jónsi explains how Sigur Rós 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: Jónsi explains how Sigur Rós 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.

Listened Sigur Rós presents Liminal Sleep, by Sigur Rós from Liminal

9 track album

Described as a ‘playlist’, this album feels more like an experience than anything that you can necessarily put your finger on. As the website describes:

Liminal, both live and locally, takes the listener to a place neither here nor there; a “liminal” space.

Place between Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II and M83’s soundtrack for Oblivion.