Agaetis Byrjun picks up where the band's first album, 1997's Von, left off, blending its gloomy twee-pop into elegant, epic ballads. The disc's most accessible track, "Hyartad Hamast," begins with a Pink Floyd-like jazz keyboard and blues harmonica, which sets the stage for a massive distorted string chorus. "Svern G-Englar" uses a slow electric guitar and Birgisson's high-pitched caterwaul to yield a 10-minute dirge reminiscent of Mazzy Star. Each track on the album is sung in Icelandic, giving Birgisson's voice an alien quality in songs such as "Flugufrelsarinn," while on other tracks, angelic slide guitar and dreamy piano give a sense of inspiration and humanity. Regardless of which style you prefer, Agaetis Byrjun is an eclectic collection of sounds and atmosphere that borders on masterpiece.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.