Though it may be categorised as a single for the purposes of order, there's not much that links Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do with the shorter release format. It has three “songs”, but that's it. It's a partly improvised 20-minute instrumental ambient piece split into three sections, written for Merce Cunningham's dance piece Split Sides which premiered in 2003 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and utilising piano, music box, miked-up ballet shoes(!) and electronic playback, Love Me Do this definitely isn't.
This represents quite a departure for the Icelandic combo. Guitars were certainly not invited, nor are Jónsi Birgisson's ethereal vocal coos to be heard. What is still very much in evidence is the effortless beauty and otherworldly wonder. Opening segment Ba Ba features a warbling loop of piano that escalates in intensity and complexity – partly recalling Tubular Bells. Featuring the random but delightful plucking of what sounds like a child's music box needing repair, the second section is a strange bundle of niceness. By the time the final movement has drifted away in a haze of static, sampled chanting and the music box breaking down for good, the instinct is to experience it all again.
This is a one-off side project for the group, and as their major label debut reveals a healthy attitude of nonconformity. With a follow up to the marvellous "()" due next spring, Sigur Ros fans have something to help them get through that wait.