The Icelandic avant-rock outfit Sigur Rós has been making music, in various arrangements, for nearly 30 years. Their debut full-length Von came out in 1997, and their breakthrough album Ágætis byrjun arrived two years later. The second project was the first to feature multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson, who, despite departing the group 15 years later, has always been seen as a critical piece of the magic. After their surprisingly dark and dissonant 2013 album Kveikur, the band took a break, focusing on personal projects and personal lives. But a series of casual jam sessions—from Iceland’s Sundlaugin to London’s Abbey Road—reignited their creative spark and resulted in ÁTTA, their first album in 10 years. The project, a collaboration with conductor Robert Ames and the London Contemporary Orchestra, is full of sweeping, mystical soundscapes that mirror the majestic vistas of the group’s home country. Although there is a lingering sense of apocalyptic foreboding—very likely a nod to climate-disaster-related doom—most of these songs are imbued with hope. “Gold,” a meditative vocal number bathed in pastel tones, seems to surround you, wide and warm, like arms in an embrace. “Andrá,” glacial and glowing, is practically a hymnal. Even the more mournful songs (“Skel,” “Mór,” and “Fall” are three) feel affectionate and tender—more like bittersweet love songs than sounds of alarm. For a band that has long been openly weary about the state of the world—a rage captured vividly on their last studio record—this project feels like a deep, cathartic breath, a tribute to the magnificent beauty that remains.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada