These are some things I like about Iceland:
- It is home to roughly 30% of the world’s lava.
- It is home to zero McDonald’s restaurants.
- The 1000-kroner bill features one of the most amazing beards in the history of money.
- Thanks to geothermal energy, the annual cost of heating an Icelandic home is about $20.
- Everybody there is friendly.
- Despite having a smaller population than many American neighbourhoods, it produces an incredible number of gifted musicians.
Jonsi is one of them. Aside from being a guitarist and vocalist for the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, he’s spent the last few years building a respectable solo career as well.
Also, he’s blind in one eye.
I couldn’t think of a clever way to include that in my pre-amble, so there it is.
What makes this a beautiful song:
1. The horns and strings that anchor the song are rich and grand without being that loud. It would be the perfect soundtrack to wide-angle shots of the Icelandic countryside, or maybe Vikings running in slow-motion.
2. Jonsi’s falsetto, beginning at 2:48, is a nice contrast to the horns.
3. The song appears to be over at 3:23, but it’s not. If you’re listening on headphones or in a quiet place, you can hear the horn section take a breath just before they begin playing again.
Recommended listening activity:
Dropping ice cubes into a glass of water and listening to them crack.