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the word hvarf/heim review'

this is tremendous, a double-cd compilation by one of the world's most ear-ticklingly innovative bands. but here's the thing: don't rush out to buy it seriously. first you have to get hold of heima, the "parent" dvd, a gorgeous and profound tour film chronicling the icelanders' off-the-beaten-track tour of their off-the-beaten-track homeland last summer. making heima was an arduous but ultimately liberating process for sigur r&s - the hvarf disc collects five rare songs they had never previously released/recorded properly. hljomalind is the soaring stand-out, a (for them) pop song that suggests radiohead collaborating with spiritualized. heim is even more intriguing. inspired by the unplugged "field recordings" they undertook while making the film, it presents, for the first time, an acoustic sigur ros. on vaka their gorgeous wall of sound is knocked down, leaving glockenspiel and organ to work their fairytale magic. von is even better, the recorded-in-a-tea-room version offering cockle-warming counterpoint to the more majestic version on hvarf.

(craig mclean)



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