Sigur Rós Release Their First Album In 10 Years, 'ÁTTA'

16 June 2023 | 10:40 am | Mary Varvaris

Who doesn’t love a surprise album?

Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós (Credit: Tim Dunk)

Icelandic post-rock legends Sigur Rós are back with their first new album in a decade, ÁTTA. The surprise release has arrived with almost no notice or fanfare – earlier this week, the band unveiled the single Blóðberg, and yesterday (15 June), revealed that the album would drop today. Who doesn’t love a surprise album?

ÁTTA follows the band’s seventh album, 2013’s Kveikur, and a multitude of drama that surrounded Sigur Rós during and after that period. In January 2013, five months before the group dropped Kveikur, keyboardist Kjartan "Kjarri" Sveinsson departed the band.

In September 2018, drummer Orri Páll Dýrason faced sexual assault allegations by artist Meagan Boyd. Orri then stepped down from the band, claiming his innocence but needing to leave "in light of the scale of this matter". Sigur Rós then faced tax evasion charges in March 2019 before the case was dismissed in October of that year – the charges were only fully dismissed earlier this year.

Kjarri rejoined Sigur Rós in February 2022. A week later, the band announced their first world tour in over five years. Now, Kjarri, singer and guitarist Jón Þór "Jónsi" Birgisson and bassist Georg "Goggi" Hólm are back with ÁTTA.


ÁTTA - our new album is out digitally tonight at midnight. Vinyl & CD pre-order starts now for release on September 1. Pre-order via #sigurros8

Posted by Sigur Rós on Thursday, June 15, 2023

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A trio in the studios – more on the locations soon – Jónsi explained that they were “just wanting to have minimal drums and for the music to be really sparse, floaty and beautiful. We’re getting older and more cynical so I just wanted to move us so that we felt something!”

Kjarri concurred, “We wanted to allow ourselves to be a bit dramatic and go far with these arrangements. The world needs that right now. It’s hard to describe, but for me, everything is always open to interpretation. People can think and feel how they want.”

As well as the core trio making up Sigur Rós, the band prominently worked with the London Contemporary Orchestra on ÁTTA.

The orchestra, conducted by Robert Ames, also features brass performed by longtime Icelandic collaborators Brassgat í bala. The album was mixed and co-produced by another frequent collaborator Paul Corley, alongside the band.

“It’s what the music asked for and spoke for itself,” Goggi added. “This record sounds like a Sigur Rós album, but it’s more introverted than before. It’s very expansive with this sound of strings, but it looks within more than outside.”

ÁTTA was recorded on multiple continents – from London’s iconic Abbey Road Studio and numerous studios in the US to the band’s Sundlaugin studio in Iceland.

“When we do this, we always talk about each album as if it might be the last,” Jónsi said. “We’re always thinking about climate change, doom-scrolling and going to hell. The world felt a bit bleak making this album, but maybe there is hope. When there is darkness, there is light.”

ÁTTA is out now on digital and streaming services. Vinyl and CD will be released on Friday, 1 September – pre-order your copy here.