Kveikur by Sigur Ros

When Sigur Rós announced their new album earlier this year, they promised a more ‘aggressive’ sound. Kveikur certainly starts out that way: a heavy bass line dominates the first track, ‘Brennisteinn’. Things settle down somewhat from there, with Jónsi’s mesmerising imaginary lyrics floating beautifully over the band’s trademark atmospherics.

Yet Kveikur undoubtedly has a much poppier sound, especially compared to their first two, incredibly fragile, albums, Ágætis Byrjun and (). I don’t say that as a criticism, for Sigur Rós would surely have become irrelevant had they repeated themselves over and over. Rather, I imagine Kveikur will be played out of many headphones in the months ahead, with listeners walking around in a sonic daze from the sensory assault found within.

Dave Clarke is a Music & DVD Specialist at Readings Carlton.