Jonsi - A biography
Although it all did start out on just guitar, piano and harmonium, acoustic isn't the first word that springs to mind when listening to 'Go', the first solo album from Sigur Ros frontman, Jonsi. Joyous, exhilarating and fearless, maybe. Ecstatic, dramatic and alive, perhaps. As an album it's more wild extravaganza than solipsistic rumination. Much of the way it has grown and evolved has to do with Jonsi's choice of free-spirited collaborators. All the album's arrangements are by Nico Muhly, the Philip Glass protege known for his work with Bjork, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Antony & the Johnsons and Grizzly Bear. Nico is all over 'Go,' his exuberant, flitting arrangements for strings, brass and woodwind a dizzying counterpoint to Jonsi's broadened vocal range. The off-kilter and original percussive style of Finnish drummer Samuli Kosminen, sometime member of Mum and owner of a suitcase full of magical crap, added another fascinating layer to the album. With the help of his 'Riceboy Sleeps' collaborator and boyfriend, Alex Somers, Jonsi narrowed down the folder of material from 25 to a core of 11 songs and headed off to record with Peter Katis at his Tarquin Studios in Connecticut in Spring 2009 . There, Jonsi made the decision to go for broke and "scale up" rather than rein in the material, and so this minimally-conceived album came to be about "everything". 'Go' completes a personal journey for Jonsi away from the wordless and near-brutal sonic monoliths of Sigur Ros's untitled '( )' album, and is a bold stride beyond the career-redefining pop of 'Hoppipolla', and even the explosive percussive assault of the last album's 'Gobbledigook'. His voice has never been more impressive or breathtakingly arranged; here spectral and wraithlike, there fulsome and gorgeously warm, or else with backing vocals swooping and darting everywhere in a giddying array of crazed inventiveness.