Amiina: A Dance of Sounds in Space

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Rugla"
  • Artist: Amiina
  • CD: Kurr
  • Genre: Classical/World
Amiina 300

In "Rugla," the Icelandic band Amiina lets its sound unfurl organically, layer upon layer. courtesy of Amiina hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of Amiina

The Icelandic band Amiina has worked as a string quartet supporting Sigur Ros, but while their music shares roots with their geographic counterparts, the resulting blooms are startlingly different. There's a classical sensibility in Amiina's songs — a delicacy of approach that conveys the sense of a carefully composed, deliberately choreographed experience. But at the same time, it develops organically, layer upon layer, unfurling new leaves of sound and dappled lightness.

"Rugla" begins with a quiet clicking, which is immediately fleshed out by guitar and ringing vibraphone. Spider-silk saw notes warble through, sounding more familiar than their eerie call probably should and framing a gentle counterpoint from viola and cello. The voices enter as new ideas grow and fade and return again, each element moving in perfect time with the others.

For a band that embraces an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink approach, what emerges is hardly noise. Instead, it's a series of auditory concepts that capture the mind and soothe the soul — a dance of sounds in space.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Purchase Featured Music


Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music


Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.