Nothing about Sigur Ros is quotidian. Hence the Icelandic quartet's fifth album proper, released to coincide with their stunning film, Heima, is divided into one disc of live old songs (most of which have never been heard before), and a second disc consisting of acoustic takes on six tracks that span the Icelandic band's decade-long career. Whether live or unplugged, though, the effect is much the same: disbelief that one band can convey this much emotion when, for all the unearthly beauty of the music, the lyrics amount to little more than gibberish.
CD: Sigur Ros, Hvarf-Heim
Paul Mardles is a subeditor on the Observer New Review