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Cute up North

Summer 2006
"Having toured the world over, Sigur Rós return home to play a series of free, unannounced concerts in Iceland."

This work provides examples of:

  • Concept Album: The film features several songs from the album ( ), on which all the lyrics were sung in Vonlenska (Hopelandic), a language constructed by the band. The soundtrack to the film also forms a sort of combination compilation/concept album.
  • Epic Rocking
  • Everything Is an Instrument: The band visits a man who makes xylophones out of slabs of volcanic rock. The four play a piece on one of the larger models in a fire-lit cave.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Only one song in the band's career has contained any English lyrics, although they all speak the language quite well. Everything else is either in Icelandic or Vonlenska (to which the listener is encouraged to assign their own meaning).
  • Last Note Nightmare:
  • One-Woman Wail: Jonsi's falsetto is an epic example of this trope, even if he is male.
  • Other Common Music Video Concepts: the concert segments are not music videos per se, but they are stylized and exhibit some common music video tropes.
    • Backstage Pass: There is only a little bit of actual backstage footage, but there are scenes of their off-stage antics and adventures and the whole film serves as a look into the more intimate world of the band.
    • Backwards Action: Towards the end of the opening song, "Glósóli'," there is a sequence intercut with the live performance of a stream filmed backward, symbolizing their return to Iceland and their roots.
    • Dance Hall Daze: There a beautifully simplified version of "Ágćtis Byrjun" performed in a dance hall/community center. There's no synchronized dancing but a toddler stops by to see how things are going.
    • Travelogue Montage: The entire film is this, but there are numerous intercut still shots of various locations around Iceland shown periodically throughout the film.
  • Talky Bookends: Concert and travel footage is interspersed with interviews with Sigur Rós and Amiina, the string quartet with whom they've toured and recorded extensively.
  • Rockumentary
  • Singing Simlish: Vonlenska
  • Stage Names: Icelandic names tend to be long and complicated and hard for non-Icelandic-speakers to say. Fortunately, most Icelanders often use easy-to-remember nicknames in daily life, and the guys are no exception:
    • Jón Ţór Birgisson - "Jónsi"
    • Georg Hólm - "Goggi"
    • Kjartan Sveinsson - "Kjarri"
    • Orri Páll Dýrason just sticks with "Orri"
  • Textless Album Cover: The cover of Heima features a soft-focus photograph of a river snaking toward a mountain. So do the albums Von, Von brigđi, and Ágćtis byrjun. Some versions have the name of the band in addition to the eponymous punctuation on the cover, but all versions lack song titles, liner notes, or production credits.
  • Shoegazing: Between the bowed guitars, organs, synthesizers, strings, and reverb, a lot of the band's music is very shoegazey. Not all of it, though. Several of the performances featured in Heima are stripped-down, acoustic versions of their songs.
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