Sigur Ros’s Norður og Niður festival slated for the end of December will feature many acts and concerts over a six day period. They have just announced one of the concerts via a YouTube video. This one is called “Gloomy Holiday,” and will feature a range of artists performing new versions of Christmas songs. Sigur Ros describes the concert for us on the video description:
“The big, bombastic hits of the season will be pared down to stately processions in minor keys, as beautiful and spare as snow falling at night; in short, they will be Sigur Ros-ized. the band are working closely with friend and big-band maestro, Samúel Jón Samúelsson, as gloomy holiday bandleader and musical director to ensure a must-see event.”
Festival attendees can look forward to their favorite (or loathed) Christmas songs being transformed by Sigur Ros and company. In the video, Samuel Jon Samuelsson and Georg Holm sat down to talk about the idea behind the concert. Samuelsson, a respected musician in his own right, will act as conductor for the night. Holm is the bass player for Sigur Ros.
During the video teaser, Samuelsson describes the concert as “sort of an antidote to the constant noise.” The pair goes on to describe part of the intent behind the show, which will circumvent what they describe as the “shopping mall Christmas.” By putting classic Christmas songs in minor keys and slow rhythms, they hope to rebel against the syrupy and fake Christmas cheer that is pumped over grocery store speakers and radio stations this time of year.
The two also talk about their favorite Christmas songs. Holm says his is one that Sigur Ros has covered before, called “Ég fæ jólagjöf” in Icelandic. You can find the link to listen to that song here.
“Gloomy Holiday” will feature many musicians, including Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Peaches, and Daniel Agust of GusGus. Look for the event to happen on December 27th at the Norður og Niður festival in Reykjavik.