Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hasn't Come Out Yet: Jonsi - Go


Release Date: April 5 (ish), 2010

When artists leave their band to create a solo project, it's normal to expect something "less." This isn't true in the case of Sigur Ros' Jonsi. The lead singer's solo album, Go, is as exciting and ambitious as anything released by his band. Plus, we now get to hear what it sounds like to hear him sing in real languages.

The music sounds like an indie fag's wet dream. As offensive as that sounds on so many levels, I mean it in the best possible way. It has the emotional sensibilities of a Death Cab for Cutie album, with Peter Gabriel production values and the frantic energy of Parts and Labor or Dan Deacon. Try piling all of that on top of the already ethereal beauty of Sigur Ros, and it makes for a wildly unique musical experience.

I got into Sigur Ros slowly and cautiously, as I always do when artists seem to claim their fame on gimmicks ("sounds like glaciers" and "singing in a made-up language" being Sigur Ros' main offenders) but my interest in the band peaked with Takk. And then, amazingly, Sigur Ros averted a possible wash-up disaster by releasing music via different projects. One of the most underrated ambient albums released in 2009 (one of the most underrated albums, period) was Riceboy Sleeps, an instrumental project Jonsi created along with his boyfriend, Alex.

And now this. In a way, it's the most accessible music Jonsi has ever made. It's incredibly easy to listen to, practically joyous. He hasn't abandoned his trademark falsetto, but the rhythms are what make Go the type of album you put on repeat for a few hours straight. Go shifts from fast paced spaz-rock to low-key, slow love. But the best moments on the album are those with the fastest drum beats. Jonsi packs a lot of instruments and sounds into a single song, and the result is a sort of soundtrack to children riding big-wheels onto rainbow roads into bright blue skies through puffy white clouds. It's kinda like the feeling you get while making the best lap of your life on Super Mario Kart.

Check out the video for Go Do. It really just offers a taste of the beautiful sounds on Go.

And, as always, the real way to experience this music is through a live performance. Jonsi is touring with a new band in support of Go, I'll try to make it. But even if I can't, you should!

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