Is there anything so exquisitly bittersweet?
Sometimes the pain is just too sweet to let go of, that clutching emotion that seizes you when you are surprised by something that takes your breath away. It is almost like a grief, but a joyous one that sears to the very heart of you. This man from Iceland has done this to me so many times.
The first time I ever heard Jónsi's voice was ten years ago when Sigur Rós released their second album 'ágætis byrjun'. I was working in an unfurnished room in the house that had no light other than a lamp, when Jay came into the room and said 'Turn on the radio!' and hurried out. So I unplugged the lamp and plugged in the radio, and I sat in the darkness and listened to a song called Svefn-g-englar, which you can listen to an incredible live version of here. I will never forget it. The sky was that deep, deep just-before-night blue, and on the horizon, slung low on the pink mountains, the clouds rolled across in golden waves. And in the distance the lights in the village twinkled like orange stars. It was something heavenly to behold. And this music! I was stunned by it. It was one of those unforgettable moments, and it impressed their sound deep into my heart.
I have loved everything they have done since. Take a listen to more of their music here. And it's not just the music. They have a uncanny ability to make videos that make me cry! Every time. Have a peep here for the video for the above-mentioned song. Or here for my very favourite one: oh that final scene! Or one more here. I really do cry.
And now, Jónsi has brought out a solo album. And it is a glorious, joyous affair that has enraptured me all over again. You can hear some of these marvelous tracks over here. And while the video below is not, unfortunately not the official video as embedding has been disabled on it, I still wanted to let you hear what I am talking about.
However you can view the wonderful video for it here!
I hope someone out there reading this gets what I am talking about. And if you ever get a chance to see either Jónsi, or Sigur Rós live, then do! Seeing them play in Dublin many years ago was one of my live highlights of the decade. And can I also recommend the gorgeous girls Amiina who play strings for Sigur Rós, another wonderful live experience.
I could go on all night here, talking as well about their beautiful film Heima. But I won't. I'll just recommend you take the time to watch it if you ever get the chance. You won't regret it.
There are times I am so very grateful for that magical glimpse of heaven that we call music...