Thursday, January 3, 2013

Guest Album Of The Year 2012: Sigur Rós - Valtari

Genre: Post Rock, Ambient
For Fans Of: Mogwai, Bjork

Sigur Rós, a post-rock/ambient band known for their soundscapes that embodies a filter of glacial topography: never ending stretches of fjords, faint echoes in abandoned homes and factories of their homeland, Reykjavik, Iceland. They are a conduit that fills in the gaps between realism and the ideals of escapism. For 18 years, Sigur Rós's music has slowly progressed and refined into creating a sound that is otherwordly. A constant growth that continues to surprise, Valtari reflects this, an album that marks a new sound in their career.

The minimalistic subtlety of nostalgic quietness: the sounds of dusted, crackling records player, pianos out of tune, and angelic falsettos that are uniquely applied to this record. I remember listening to Valtari a month before its initial release, and I found myself in tears listening through. I felt like a was being transcended into my oldest memories to the vibrant present. I have had many conversations with friends about the effect that Sigur Rós gives, and I always say its like being Reborn. Breathing fresh, crisp air for the first time and letting it fill in you completely, in the most muted and subdued way possible - is what i find most comforting.

We're subconsciously finding music that defines us, how we live, how we become inspired, what we create, or just simply music that parallels with our daily lives. Or perhaps music that guides us to solitude for when we need it the most. Valtari does just that, and has filled all these roles for me in 2012.

-May Xiong

May Xiong is an artist based of the Central Valley, California. You can see her stunning artwork here.

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