Official American Sigur Rós Site
Sigur Rós will be releasing their fifth album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (English translation: With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly), on June 23rd, 2008 on EMI Records. The first song from the album, entitled ‘Gobbledigook’, will be unveiled with a world exclusive first play on Radio 1 tonight (May 27th) by Zane Lowe. The track will then be available worldwide for free download, via www.sigurros.com from 7.30pm GMT.
A pre-sale for the album will begin on www.sigurros.com on June 2nd and anyone who pre-orders will then be able to access a stream of the full album from June 9th. A special deluxe edition of the album to be released later in the year, featuring a ‘Making Of…’ book, a film, and more, will also be available to pre-order on the band’s website as of June 2nd, in addition to a plethora of Sigur Rósgoodies – exclusive clips, information on tickets for upcoming shows throughout the year etc. – which will be available to those who sign up for the mailing list on www.sigurros.com.
With A Buzz… was co-produced by the band and renowned producer Flood and was recorded in New York City (at Sear Sound Studios), London (at Assault and Battery Studios and Abbey Road), Reykjavík (at Álafoss, the band’s studio, as well as a church in Reykjavik) and Havana, Cuba. Whereas Sigur Rós’ last release – the critically-acclaimed tour film Heima, chronicling their free tour throughout Iceland – took the band to their homeland, their newest creation, With A Buzz…, is the first album in the band’s career to be made outside of Iceland. It is also their first album to feature vocalist Jón “Jónsi” Thor Birgisson’s vocals in English on one track (the remainder are sung in Icelandic).
Inspired by the unfettered feeling of the acoustic performances filmed during Heima, Sigur Rós decided to adopt a looser approach in the writing and creation of their brilliant fifth album. The material for the album was written, recorded and mixed entirely in 2008 and is being released just one month after completion. The album glows with the perfect imperfection of live takes, the sounds of fingers playing guitar strings, cracked notes, and a stark, upfront presence not found in previous Sigur Rós recordings, moving away from the reverb-induced guitar sounds of old to something altogether more fragile and affecting. It also contains some of the most joyous music the band has ever recorded.
First song ‘Gobbledigook’ sets the tone for With A Buzz… with its shifting acoustic guitars, playful vocals, time signature shifts and swirling percussion, while ‘Inni mer syngur vitleysingur’ (‘Within me a lunatic sings’) sparkles as one of the most anthemic songs Sigur Rós have ever written. ‘Festival’ is epic in its elation and scope, ‘Illgresi’ (‘Weeds’) features one of Jónsi’s finest vocal melodies over a lone acoustic guitar, and ‘Ára bátur’ (‘Row boat’) is the single largest musical undertaking in the band’s career, as it was recorded live in one take with the London Sinfonietta and London Oratory Boy’s Choir, a total of 90 people playing at the same time. The band also utilized the talents of their string-quartet friends Amiina, as well as a five-piece brass section on certain tracks, in addition to introducing the Mellotron into their writing/recording process for the first time on this album, specifically on one of the most tender and beautiful songs on the record, ‘Fljótavík’.
The spirit of With A Buzz… is best captured by the album’s stunning artwork, contributed by acclaimed visual artist Ryan McGinley. McGinley first met the band when he photographed Jónsi six years ago; the album cover was taken from a flyer for McGinley’s most recent exhibit, I Know Where The Summer Goes, which happened to find its way into Jónsi’s inbox just as the band was deciding on how to best visually represent their new collection of songs. The result is a perfect synergy of the aural and the visual.
The track listing for Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly) is…
02. Inní mér syngur vitleysingur
03. Góðan daginn
04. Við spilum endalaust
06. Með suð í eyrum
07. Ára bátur
11. All alright