Sigur Ros: The greatest band you never heard

23Sep10

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying that music is the international language. This statement implies that we can communicate our messages and emotions to anyone in the world through music. A person who only understands English may not understand a message when spoken in French, but play a “sad” song and I’ll guarantee that anyone, no matter what language they speak or read, will feel the same emotions when they hear that song. The greatest example of this phenomenon comes from one of my favorite bands of all time, Sigur Ros.

I guess its safe to say that not many people have heard of the band Sigur Ros, but that’s ok because the reason for this is to introduce them to you. Sigur Ros is a band from Iceland. The name is suppose to mean “Victory Rose” in Icelandic, but it was actually named after the band leader’s younger sister who happened to be born on the day the band formed. The music that the band plays has been called post-rock, experimental, classical, minimalist, etc. Some insist on putting Sigur Ros in their own category since they sound so different from others. Personally I just simply call it music.

What make’s their music though so attractive is the emotions it brings when listening to it with out lyrics being the necessity (like Classical music). Their songs are normally sung and titled in Icelandic, sometimes in their made up language Hopelandic, but even with that you can still easily understand the message their music is trying to convey. Most of their music is influenced by the people and landscape of their homeland which to me is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Iceland is anything but flat as the land transitions from the rigidness of its mountains to the smooth rhythm of its prairie hills and valleys, the settlements carry their own unique flavor and sometimes seem to be in a world of their own. Their music (as well as their music videos) seems to emulate this kind of scenery very well. Their Instrumentation is unlimited, ranging from Marimbas, Pianos, Brass and woodwinds, using a bow on the electric guitar (their signature style), etc. They even had choirs and Orchestras from London play for some of their pieces. The band also seems to keep its motives close to home, they spend most of their time at their homeland and have sometimes did a free tour around Iceland where they would set up and play at a random location, treating their fellow Icelanders.

There was this quote I found that says “And on the Seventh day, God listened to Sigur Ros”, it may sound silly, but to me that just speaks for how well their music conveys the beauty of our planet and I can’t be the only one to think of that since the documentary Planet Earth used Sigur Ros in their soundtrack. So I encourage you to check them out, listen to a few of their songs. Their music is unlike anything that you will hear on the radio (closest being Radiohead perhaps? Which by the way was influenced by Sigur Ros) and they are for once a change in pace to what we hear on the airwaves nowadays.

Hoppipolla means “Jumping in puddles” in Icelandic. Its a very happy song, puts me in a bright mood every time 🙂

Snippet from their video, Heima. The video is a documentary of the band. Talking about how much their community means to them and how they found their strike of fame to be quite scary.

This is probably there darkest song, but very emotional.

Heres one of my favorite songs by them, I love watching this live version and seeing him use the bow on the guitar.

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2 Responses to “Sigur Ros: The greatest band you never heard”

  1. Theyre seriously one of my favorite groups now…for when I’m working on intense creative projects and such. Lotus Flower by Radiohead is another one of my newest faves. 🙂

    • Honestly, It’s been hard for me to like Radiohead. I guess it’s because I’ve listened to Sigur Ros and Mogwai before I got into them and therefore never really thought of them as “unique” and “revolutionary” as some people have said. I’d say my fav from Radiohead is House of Cards, has a nice tempo to it I think 🙂


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