Think of Icelandic music and the first thought that will come to most people’s mind is Bjork, second perhaps being that swan dress. But beyond the eccentric pixie lies a band that have managed to survive the kind of sampling in TV and movies that few others could, especially when one considers that this includes appearing in a Tom Cruise movie and nature documentary; Sigur Rós.
Intensely guarded, we follow the four piece band on their homecoming (the english translation of Heima) tour of Iceland, stopping in the most remote and sparsely populated villages (but not surpising when you consider that the total Icelandic population is just shy of 320,00 people in total) so that they can thank their original fans for the support they’ve given them. Interspersed with interviews, the group explain their distaste for the business aspects of the music industry and need for exposure, a price everyone in their situation must pay to be successful. Even more so, in Iceland they are given the freedom to just be, with small communities that do not pry. This hatred for sacrificing the personal elements of their life only more evident when you realise that none of them face the camera directly once while speaking.
This idealism for the simple joy of playing music is illustrated in how one such concert is put on for a group of protesters, the group themselves fighting to keep their country from becoming completely homogenous. The scenic scrolling of the camera holding onto a world they fear will fall through their grasp.
The music isn’t going to be for everyone, alternating between the melodic, haunting melodies they’re best known for and one or two albums tracks with guitar driven screams that would please a lot of heavy metal fans, but this is perhaps the best description of the piece as whole – beautifully diverse, fleeting, hypotic, with a skill few others could muster.