March 18, 2010

Rare EPs, part 3

Keeping it simple. This is Sigur Rós' Ný Batterí EP.

1. Rafmagnið Búið
2. Ný Batterí
3. Bíum Bíum Bambaló
4. Dánarfregnir Og Jarðarfarir

While I'm a big fan of everything Sigur Rós and their frontman Jónsi have ever released (including all Sigur Rós LPs and Jónsi's two recent side project albums), their sophomore album Ágætis Byrjun will always stand out as something special to me. This masterpiece is one of my definite favorite albums of all time – an intense 1-hour long deep dive into Sigur Rós unique and mesmerizing world. The track Ný batterí is in my opinion one of the most hypnotizing out-of-this-world experiences on the whole album, and I'd almost call it one of the album's highlights, if it wasn't for the fact that I think there are nothing but highlights on the entire album.

Ný Batterí's perfect progression, its beautiful build-up, is what really does it for me, and I used to think it was perfect – until I discovered this EP a couple of years back. On this EP, Sigur Rós extend Ný Batterí's initial horn section by almost five minutes, and dub this introductory part Rafmagnið Búið. Since this track continues directly into Ný Batterí, the result is essentially a twelve-and-a-half minute long extended version of one of my favorite songs. Track 3 and 4 on this EP are cover versions of two well-known Icelandic songs. Sigur Rós originally recorded these amazing cover tracks for the soundtrack to the Icelandic movie 'Angels of the Universe'.

For anyone out there who loves Ágætis Byrjun as much (or even half as much) as I do, these four tracks are bound to be happy revisit to this excellent period in Sigur Rós' career.

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