album october 28 fatcat records
sigur ros' eagerly awaited third album is to be released by fatcat records on october 28. un-named and represented only by a symbol best described as a pair of brackets, the record contains eight songs, each of which is also untitled. the material is drawn from the live set the group have developed in the three years since the initial icelandic release of their breakthrough album 'agaetis byrjun'.
'( )' is the first sigur ros record to be made at alafoss, the group's converted swimming pool studio just outside of reykjavik. it was recorded there between january and march this year and mixed at real World in june and august, with co-producer ken thomas. it also features the group's live string section amina throughout it's 70-minutes length.
'( )' is in many ways a rawer, more fragile record than its predecessor, with the band moving away from 'agaetis byrjun''s intense loveliness towards something starker and less obviously honed. for this reason it perhaps appears as more of a live record, although, paradoxically, it also sees them experimenting with samplers and the overall breadth of their sound more than ever before.
sigur ros are changing, that is apparent throughout the intense highs and lows of this strange and incredible record. What remains constant, however, is their unparalleled ability to draw on deep wells of emotion and beauty wordlessly. as before vocalist jonsi thor birgisson only ever uses his other-worldly voice as another instrument in the band.
the cd and album artwork features close-up photographs taken by the band, which have been manipulated using natural materials.
otherwise the sleeve will be largely featureless, with all credits posted on the sigur-ros.com website. the tracing paper cd booklet also contains only subtle designs and no text, with listeners invited to write or illustrate their own interpretations of birgisson's "hopelandish" vocals and post them on the site. the idea is that the most oft-used words and phrases will then be recognised by a computer program on the site and "become" the lyrics. the cd will come in a special die-cut slipcase, while the double vinyl will also feature a special die-cut sleeve.
sadly, because the recording of the new album took longer than anticipated, the band had to cancel their appearances at most of this summer's european festivals in order to make the autumn release date. so it is with pleasure that they can announce they will be touring europe throughout october, before taking off for america and then, briefly, japan.
tour dates are as follows:
1 london royal festival hall
2 sheffield leadmill
3 edinburgh queen's hall
5 dublin ambassador's theatre
6 dublin ambassador's theatre
7 bristol anson rooms
9 amsterdam melkweg
10 brussels cirque royal
12 fribourg fri-son
13 florence tenax
14 milan rolling stone
16 vienna spark 7 hall
17 berlin arena
19 oslo betong
20 stockholm sodra theatre
21 copenhagen vega
23 paris elysee
24 cologne philharmonie
'( )' is sigur ros' second album for fatcat records (their debut album was the iceland-only 'von' on smekkleysa records). 'agaetis byrjun', the band's previous album, was very well received all around the world, and it saw them tour far beyond their own shores (including shows with radiohead at thom yorke's personal request), picking up plaudits on the way.
in portugal they received consecutive videos of the year for both 'svefn-g-englar' and 'vidrar vel til loftarasa', while in america 'agaetis byrjun' won the us version of the mercury prize, the shortlist prize for artistic achievement in music, as voted for by fellow artists such as beck, dave grohl, trent reznor and macy gray. they also received the award of best album of the century at home in iceland last year.
sigur ros are jon thor birgisson (vocals, guitar), georg holm (bass), kjartan sveinsson (keyboard, guitar) and orri pall dyrason (drums).
sigur ros faq available at