Sigur Rós (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈsɪːɣʏr ˈroːus] sig-ər rohss is an Icelandic post-rock band from Reykjavík, which has been active since 1994. Known for its ethereal sound, frontman Jónsi Birgisson’s falsetto vocals, and the use of bowed guitar,the band’s music is also noticeable for its incorporation of classical and minimalist aesthetic elements. The band is named after Jónsi’s sister Sigurrós Elín.
A reissue of the band’s second album, Ágætis byrjun, is slated for release in early summer 2015. It will feature previously unheard studio and live recordings as well as photographic and documentary material from their personal archives. The band has further teased expanded reissues of Von and ( ).
Vonlenska is the non-literal language that forms the unintelligible lyrics sung by the band on some songs, in particular by Jónsi. It is also commonly known by the English translation of its name, Hopelandic. It takes its name from “Von”, a song on Sigur Rós’s debut album Von where it was first used. However, not all Sigur Rós songs are in Hopelandic; many are sung in Icelandic.
Vonlenska has no fixed syntax and differs from constructed languages that can be used for communication. It focuses entirely on the sounds of language; it lacks grammar, meaning, and even distinct words. Instead, it consists of emotive non-lexical vocables and phonemes; in effect, Vonlenska uses the melodic and rhythmic elements of singing without the conceptual content of language. In this way, it is similar to the use of scat singing in vocal jazz. The band’s website describes it as “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music” it is similar in concept to the ‘nonsense’ language often used by Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser in the 1980s and 1990s. Most of the syllable strings sung by Jónsi are repeated many times throughout each song, and in the case of ( ), throughout the whole album.