Sigur Ros plans stripped-down tour to test new album

Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros, performing during their sold-out show at Fort Canning Park in 2012.
Copyright: ALOYSIUS LIM
Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros, performing during their sold-out show at Fort Canning Park in 2012. Copyright: ALOYSIUS LIMST PHOTO: ALOYSIUS LIM

NEW YORK(AFP) - Sigur Ros, the acclaimed experimental Icelandic band, on Monday announced a North American tour of small theatre shows with stripped-down instrumentation to test material for a new album.

Sigur Ros said it would be the first time since 2002 that the band would play unreleased material on the road, part of its bid to write music for its upcoming eighth album.

"In keeping with the scale of the venues, the group will be performing without the string and brass sections that have been characteristic of recent performances, opting instead to focus on the core unit of the band itself," it said in a statement.

Sigur Ros won wide critical praise starting in the late 1990s through its highly experimental and often melancholy works, which evoke nature with a blend of classical and rock elements.

Hallmarks of the band include a bowed guitar, long minimalist build-ups, frontman Jonsi's falsetto voice and scat lyrics in a language dubbed Hopelandic.

The band will start the North American tour on Sept 19 in Vancouver and mostly play small theatres over the following month, although it will also perform at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

Accustomed to playing arenas, Sigur Ros said the North American tour would mark the first time the band will play without an opening act, instead performing two unique sets with an intermission.

Sigur Ros has already announced a summer tour of Europe but mostly large festivals, starting with Primavera Sound in Barcelona.

Sigur Ros has not released an album since 2013's Kveikur, although Jonsi has been active on side projects.