Less stürm more drang, the studio and live pieces assembled on this two CD set look back to earlier work and ahead to a more acoustically informed aesthetic. The music is in fact almost emotionally neutral, especially when considered beside the often overwrought air structures of the Sígur Ros catalog. Quiet, languid and unhurried, unbothered by simple reptition and gradual, often predictable progressions both Hvarf and Heim are settled about with uncomplicated dabs of faux-melacholia, usually paced by slow arpeggios on piano or guitar and a shuffle towards the receding twilight. Then there is the acquired taste that is the Sigur Rós vocal style: at times very musical, at others a persistent nasal and offish-key whine.
Sigur Rós has the distinction of having some of their work occasionally performed by no less than the Kronos Quartet. Whether much from Hvarf/Heim will find its way into the repertory remains to be seen. Its principal appeal is its very deliberate underwhelmingness, a dwelling on the somnolent and tranquil which in the end may leave too much to the imagination. Of course, their work remains distinct and compelling and if you're considering this as a point of entry you might be better advised to start with the more rigorous and demanding Takk (from which we have "Heysátan" ). The self-covers of Hvarf/Heim are probably best appreciated when set beside their earlier, more enrgetic incarnations.
03) Í Gćr
09) Ágćtis Byrjun