10. Sæglópur by Sigur Rós
Sigur Rós may only be Iceland’s second most celebrated musical export, behind Björk, but they’ve enjoyed an acclaimed career. Forming in Reykjavík in 1994, the post-rock band’s music reflects their environment – Jonsi’s falsetto voice and the use of a violin bow on guitar all give their music a glacial beauty.
Post-rock features more extreme dynamic contrasts and longer songs than most forms of rock music – in some ways it’s comparable to classical. Sigur Ros’ music has a cinematic quality – it’s not surprising that the song has turned up in numerous TV shows and movies, including Top Gear and Aquaman. But there’s some great pop sense in Sigur Rós too – the central piano hook of ‘ Sæglópur’ is memorable, and the song is propulsive once the drums kick in.
Some of Sigur Rós’ lyrics use the invented language Hopelandic, but ‘Sæglópur’ is Icelandic for “lost at sea”. Thanks for reading and listening over the last ten songs – I appreciate people taking the effort to hear music outside of the English hegemony.