My uncle and I were talking last night about his increasing interest in weird music. Not necessarily Meltbanana weird, but weird for his established musical taste.
Weird like Fujiya & Miyagi. Weird like Sigur Rós. In particular, Sigur Rós.
They are ethereal and soaring. They’re Icelandic, but only sing in Icelandic half the time (which is a jarring enough sound on its own.)
The rest of the time, they speak in a gibberish that their singer has called “Vonlenska”, trying to match falsettos noise, coos and choruses to the transcendent orchestral mess they are frequently producing.
We were talking about Sigur Rós because we both like the band a lot.
I’ve been listening to them since I was in 9th grade, having caught the last 10 minutes of a horrific-looking movie called Vanilla Sky. There was a song playing, though, that caught my attention. Therefore I listened to the downloaded “Song from the End of Vanilla Sky Soundtrack” anonymously for a couple months before I finally figured out who they were.
And when I finally did, I wholeheartedly embraced them.
I had to warn my uncle: Don’t listen to them if you’re sad. They will turn a little bit of depression into couch cushion sobbing for hours.
He was unimpressed and moved on from the conversation.
Later on that night, feeling only marginally stressed out, I put on their album Takk… and let the tears roll.
There is something inherently tragic about the way this band sounds, even when the sound is joyous and first-kiss-in-the-movie worthy (assuming you’ve seen Penelope).
The trigger in the fake words and ones that sound made up attaches them to sad memories. Sometimes to memories so happy they are still worth crying over.
Then, this morning, sitting down to write this, I forgot how good of a job this band does of making someone cry for reasons beyond their music. They make up words to fit their music, but they also create images. Some of the most perfect images to be put to music.
I consider them the perfect soundtrack band, not just because of the unfortunate Vanilla Sky incident, which is the best compliment I could possibly hand out. I am constantly attaching them to places and people and movements.
They also do that for themselves.
I dare you to watch this perfect music video and not tear up. Or remembers things that make you do that anyway.