The album, Heim-Hvarf, is two EPs, really. One, Hvarf, is a collection of songs already released, if only as B sides, one or two somewhat mucked about with and spruced up from previous recordings. Hafsól is a particularly outstanding track, a long, slow, tense track that builds up (like so many of Sigur Ros’s pieces) from soft, beautiful strings to crashing guitar and drums. I’ve heard them play it live twice, and the energy the track exudes is incredible.
The other side, Heim, is a series of acoustic recordings of some of their best songs, giving them even more beauty and subtlety, which almost seems impossible. Both great albums and gorgeous listens.
Heima, the DVD, is a video of a series of concerts they held across their native Iceland last year. I’m not a huge fan of music videos and films, but Heima is wonderful. Mixing the sublime music with the jaw-dropping scenery of Iceland and the gentle wit of the band, it paints a magnificent picture of a band with an international reputation giving something back to often tiny communities throughout their homeland.
The music gains an added beauty through the intimacy of small venues and the way it presents a perfect soundtrack to one of the most unusual lands on earth. It certainly makes me as keen as ever to visit Iceland one day soon.
However, enough arty gibberish from me. I’m off tomorrow to Edinburgh and Dundee for three days for work. It would be the 0645 train, but thanks to engineering works, it’s an 0620 bus.