Glósóli is the track Sigur Ros are using to introduce audiences in Europe to their latest album, Takk - their first for new label EMI. In North America, Saeglopur will be the ethereal Icelandic band's first release. Both are available by download only.
For fans of the (relatively) upbeat second album Ágætis Byrjun, Glósóli will be welcome. Scarcely less dramatic but much less brooding and doomladen than () closer Popplagið, Glósóli nonetheless has Ágætis Byrjun's light and optimistic texturing.
The classic Sigur Ros structure of quietly building to a rousing crescendo is preserved, and whenever the sound seems unable to get bigger, it does. Three bass drums and wailing guitars ensure an emotional climax that just about leaves the listener breathless - before it all twinkles off at a skip with a music box and echoey atmospherics. There's still no hint of the English language to be found either.
Sigur Ros here sound happier, poppier even, than () had suggested they were. All things being relative of course - it remains a stretch of the imagination to imagine youngsters downloading Glósóli as a ringtone. But the rest of us will be happy to sit back and treasure a beautiful piece of music from a unique band.