My only exposure to Sigur Ros thus far has been in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The song ‘Starálfur’ scored the film’s climactic scene, in which the crew of the Belafonte encounters the mythical jaguar shark.
For a scene that cathartic and sad, yet hopeful, the ethereal warbling of an Icelandic art rock band worked perfectly. Outside of that context, I’m not so sure.
Many of Sigur Ros’s lyrics (including those of today’s SOTD) are in Vonlenska, a made-up language that translates in English to Hopelandic. It isn’t a proper language but a series of sounds without meaning or structure. The idea is that actual words distract from the overall effect of the music.
Similarly, this 2002 album has no title and neither do any of its eight tracks. The band says they didn’t want to assign titles to each track and print them on the album sleeve just because it’s expected.
So either they’re true artists or pretentious dicks. Maybe both.
The music is emotional and stirring but, getting back to the Wes Anderson example, it feels like a film score, half as effective without accompanying visuals. Sure enough, the band’s music has been used in quite a few movies.
I think I’ll stick to enjoying their music that way.