Sigur Rós Announce First New Album in 10 Years: Átta

Sigur Rós press image

A series of casual jam sessions at a time when a group of friends needed them most has resulted in the first new album Sigur Rós has released in a decade.

The Icelandic avant-rock group Sigur Rós is returning by surprise with their first new album in 10 years.

The album, Átta, includes ten tracks and promises to be their “most intimate and emotionally direct album to date,” as the band returns with a new formation.

Multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson has returned to join frontman Jónsi and bassist Georg Holm – having left the band in 2012. You’ll also notice a more stripped-back sound due to the departure of drummer Orri Páll Dýrason in 2018.

Sigur Rós - Átta
Sigur Rós – Átta – album artwork

“Kjartan came here to my home in LA for a holiday, and we just planned to do some demos and fool around,” Jónsi stated of Sveinsson’s return. “It was nothing serious or necessarily Sigur Rós-related, then Georg got involved and we just started making the album properly. It was really refreshing and fun to get Kjartan back. It felt like something was missing when he was not there. He brings a new dimension. His ability for composing these little melodic touches is just great.”

Meanwhile, Holm described Sveinsson as “a very serious guy,” but one who’s “very serious about music too.”

“We needed a kick in the butt and for someone to say, ‘Right now we’re going to start work – here are some ideas,’” Holm said. “It was like a defibrillator and brought life back into the band. We needed focus, detail, and a work ethic. He’s an old member, but it was like fresh air.”

“We’re all a bit older and appreciate each other’s individuality a bit more,” Sveinsson stated. “We’ve all grown up. When you’ve been in a band together since you’re a teenager, there are some patterns that are hard to get out of. Now that we’re older, it’s much easier to look at everything differently.”

Sigur Rós press image
Sigur Rós (photo credit: Tim Dunk)

The self-produced album was recorded at Sundlaugin Studio, on the rural outskirts of Reykjavik with the strings laid down at London’s iconic Abbey Road. “We’re getting older and more cynical so I just wanted to move us so that we felt something!” Jónsi said.

“We wanted to allow ourselves to be a bit dramatic and go far with these arrangements. The world needs that right now. After COVID and everything, people just need something nice. It’s hard to describe, but for me everything is always open to interpretation. People can think and feel how they want,” Sveinsson added.

According to Holm, the record “sounds like a Sigur Ros album, but it’s more introverted than before. It’s very expansive with this sound of strings, but it looks within more than outside.”


Átta is streaming now. Vinyl & cd pre-order starts now for the release on September 1st.

*Featured image credit: Tim Dunk

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Ashley is the Editor-in-Chief of Eulalie Magazine. Favorite Movies: Sunset Boulevard, Garden State, Modern Times. Favorite TV Shows: Gilmore Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey's Anatomy. Favorite Books: Interview with the Vampire, Dracula, City of Glass.

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