Iceland’s Sigur Ros have quietly released a follow-up to their 2002 album, ( ). The new record, Hlemmur, is the soundtrack to a documentary by Icelandic director Olafur Sveinsson about a Reykjavik bus station and the homeless people who gather there. Sigur Ros sold Hlemmur at shows on their recent U.S. tour and plan a formal release in the future.
The band recorded Hlemmur last year in its studio, a converted swimming pool near Reykjavik. “We just did it ourselves — everything was improvised,” singer-guitarist Jonsi Birgisson says of the atmospheric, all-instrumental score. “The movie is quite sad. It is funny, too — the people in it are telling jokes. But they are homeless and have no families.”
Sigur Ros return to the U.S. in October for a collaboration with Radiohead and choreographer Merce Cunningham at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The two bands will create music for Cunningham’s troupe, which will dance to their live performances. “It’s going to be quite experimental,” says Birgisson. “On the day it’s performed, we get to see the dance for the first time, and they hear the music. It will be spontaneous — and strange.”