“untitled #1” (a.k.a. “Vaka”) Single (PIAS/ MCA)
by Tim Den
An untitled CD single/DVD videography from Iceland’s (and ambient rock’s) premiere ambassadors. Included are the first, untitled track off of (), a brand new, three-part, 12-minute song, and all three videos the band has made. Whereas Sigur Ros‘ full-lengths never fully captured my attention because of their long running times (one can only pay attention to droning beauty, as luscious as it may be, for so long), this smaller dose does the job perfectly by stunning me with the band’s womb-like warmness for a satisfying 18 minutes. Not too long, not too short, just enough to convey exactly why this band is heralded as the kings of their genre. Humming Rhodes and painfully (yet peacefully) slow-moving hymnal vocals reach with outstretched arms to embrace every corner of the aural peripheral. And once they do, the shelter they offer feels like staying in bed on a wintery night. Ornately serene – with hints of sinister spirits writhing somewhere deep within – this “tip of the iceberg” single is perfect for anyone wanting to start exploring this enigma of a band. Bonus: The three videos are as delicate as the music. Well done.