media » feature articles
milky cat

milkycat loves sigur rós!

yes, milkycat loves sigur ros. or sigurros. however you spell it, we are nuts for their amazing, haunting and beautiful music. there are many darling icelandic bands that are becoming known in america and the intergalactic pop culture, like the arty icepop supergroup gus-gus, the inimitable bjork (pronounced buh-jork, really, we swear, buh-jork, say it), magga stina, lhooq, curver and sykurmolarnir. the sugarcubes to the layman. however, few are familiar with the beautiful soundwaves unleashed unto the ether by our darling favorite, doubleplus drooltastic icelandic band sigur ros.

sigur ros means 'victory rose' in icelandic. it's also a popular girl's name there, following a vein of other rooted female names like sigurborg (victory-city), sigurlaug (victory-pool) and sigurveig (victory-veig)! what the hell is a veig- we don't know! we are compelled to mention sigur mjolkurkottur (victory-milkycat).

their sound has been described as spiritualized meets pink floyd meets enya. but that kind of namby-pamby comparison just doesn't do these musicians justice. they absolootely must be heard to be appreciated. singer jón ór (thor as in the mighty thunder god) birgisson sings in a beautiful, unbelievably high and gentle siren's voice that lulls listeners aground like the exxon valdez. it's true, there is something very enyaeey about his voice. many of my friends were surprised to learn that this is in fact a man singing. keyboardist kjartan not only sports one of my favorite names, but also has the most amazing hairdo & cute bangs. milkycat urges kjartan: keep the bangs! georg holm plays haunting, ephemeral bass. drummer agust is rumored to have left sigurros.

i first witnessed sigur ros at a live concert in a reykjavik airplane hangar last february, with gus-gus and former sugarcube einar orn's new band grindverk. before sigur ros played, jörmundur ingi the allsherjargoði opened and blessed the show with a chant.... as there has been a traditional intersection between icelandic punk and nordic pagan/asatru scenes. the blessing must have worked because it was a magical concert that night, with jon's haunting, almost elfy-falsetto voice gently licking everyone's ears like a warm and drooly puppy. jon sings in icelandic, and frankly i wouldn't want it any other way. of course we had no idea what they were singing about until we translated the lyrics with our icelandic to english dictionary, and even then it is still sometimes hard to figure out. but even if you don't understand the lyrics, it is such a beautiful confusion.

sigur ros' latest album, ágætis byrjun is available from iceland's most tasteless & crass (we mean that affectionately) label smekkleysa. sigur ros' first album and a remix album called von brigði are also available from smekkleysa/bad taste. the latter features some really incredible electronica on top of sigur ros' already ineffable beauty. the aurora borealis isn't the only beautiful thing in the north. sigur ros is up there twinkling and glowing and bumping around in the heavenly doubleplus beauty too. so listen to them, support them, order their cds!milkycat says so - because we know what's good for you.




« feature articles