THIS JUST IN: Sigur Ros To Blow Mann’s Mind

Sigur Rós will return to North America for their first live shows since 2008 including a stop at The Mann’s all new Skyline Stage July 30th. The trek, which will see the band playing major summer festivals in addition to their own headlining shows, will be in support of their forthcoming sixth studio album, Valtari, released on May 29th, 2012 on XL Recordings. The first track from Valtari, entitled “Ekki múkk,” is now streaming on the band’s website – Tour dates are listed below. Valtari – whose English translation is “steamroller” – is Sigur Rós’s first studio album since 2008’s acclaimed Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, marking the end of their indefinite hiatus. It is either the album they always wanted to make, or the album they almost didn’t make, depending on how you look at it. Taken together, the eight songs on this 54-minute album feel like an alternative musical path the band didn’t take after 2002’s untitled ( ) album. Frequently bereft of formal structures, and for large stretches of time more atmospheres than songs, the work – which the band has described as sounding “like an avalanche in slow motion” – offers a counterpoint to Sigur Rós’s steady yet unconscious migration towards public acceptance. Drawing from pieces of music that were began as far back as 2002, as well as long hours spent experimenting in the studio, Valtari is a work of incredible depth, grace and cohesion – and from Sigur Rós, we would expect nothing less. Following a tour as a core four-piece at the end of 2008, the upcoming shows in North America will feature up to eleven people on stage, creating what are certain to be some of the summer’s most magical musical moments. Tickets go on sale Friday April 20th.

MAKE MAJOR MOVES: So news that Sigur Rós are playing our fave venue in the city, the Mann, was cool enough. But we got word last night that they’re upping the Cool Factor substantially by—in a genius move—having the group play on the “Skyline Stage.” What’s that, you ask? Allow us to explain: They’re putting a stage at the top of the hill at the Mann, and the city’s skyline is going to be in the backdrop while they play. Like, whoa. Under the stars. The cityscape. The hot wind blowing. We’re getting weepy just thinking about it. MORE

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