Image by Inga & Lilja Birgisdottir
Yes, yes – it’s become a shopworn cliche…bands from Iceland make music that is seemingly not of this Earth. Yet since the first appearance of Sigur Rós in 1994, we have wondered if anyone would ever again achieve a sound as gossamer, as ineffable as had they.
Admittedly we say it with caution – but the Icelandic twosome HUGAR have indeed captured our aural imagination, with their blissful but abstruse intersection of classical and (for lack of a better word) ambient inspirations. The recherché duo of Bergur Bórisson and Pétur Jónsson began writing music together in 2013 – and, after 40+ million Spotify streams, are prepping to gift the world with their major label debut album Saga (a single of the same name was released last autumn), via Sony Masterworks.
In the meanwhile, they have graced us with two ethereal new tracks, “Ró” and “Órói” – just ahead of their U.S. performance debut at the Kennedy Center in D.C. this Sunday, March 24. They will follow with an appearance at NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge, before heading back to Europe for shows in Hamburg and Copenhagen.
Bórisson explains of the new songs, “They explore the contrasts between order and disorder – Ró being order and Órói disorder. Growing up in Iceland, you experience extremes of nature in everyday life, walking to school in a snow blizzard and riding your bike in the calm midnight sun. The songs are our attempt to put our everyday experiences into sounds.”