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A Magazine for Sheffield

Jónsi Shiver

As the driving force behind Sigur Rós’ enchanting oeuvre, Jónsi has long borne a cabalistic mystique. The grace and charm in his voice exudes an incomparable buoyancy that is the focal point of the band’s blissful opera, and two decades at the forefront of the exalted halls of post-rock is a testament to the emotional capacity it bears.

Released: 2 October 2020

Shiver, his first solo venture in a decade, sees the hopelandic daydreamer cross the path of PC Music’s hyperpop android producer A. G. Cook, and the resultant album is as emotionally expansive and sonically flavoursome as anything in their respective careers so far. In keeping with Cook’s tendency to challenge the established conventions of pop with coarse and erratic productions, his efforts on Shiver are a dissected phantasmagoria of pop styles, each grounded in dark and peculiar ambient hues.

Birgisson’s soaring vocal harmonies scale the breathtaking heights of his post-rock work, yet are delivered in a modernised form. Even when fed through delay units and cut apart into glitched mosaics, his vocal performances on this album offer a stunningly human identity, grounded in intimate lyricism.

This is a record that presents both collaborators at the top of their game – a heartfelt montage of the human condition whose fractures are an engrossing extension of the album’s stirring frailty. Sweeping, beguiling and often haunting, this is a fine example of two worlds colliding to produce a work that is greater than the sum of its parts.

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