I go through fascinations with different bands, albums, artists, and the like. Lately, it's been Sigur Rós that has commanded my attention, even to the point of inspiring me to change the style in which I title my posts. They have this tremendously ethereal sound that washes over me whenever I listen to their music. My latest crush has been on their song "Sæglópur," from their latest album, Takk... . I listen to it whenever I have it on me and hum it to myself whenever I don't. Mostly, it's just the first minute and a half that gets me. It has a soft piano and bell intro to it, combined with Jon Thor Birgisson's beautiful falsetto in Icelandic. It makes me feel that wherever I am when I listen to it, it's snowing.
I have a lot of images that I associate strongly with various songs. Sarah Slean's marvelous LP Blue Parade immediately conjures up an image of a rainy winter in Portland to me. Sufjan Stevens' "Come on! Feel the Illinoise!" (from the eponymous album) makes me feel that I'm in love every time I hear it. Okkervil River's entire Black Sheep Boy Appendix EP brings to mind an image of a dark room with a misshapen creature huddled in it. At one point in high school, I tried to illustrate every song from Radiohead's Amnesiac LP. Really good music does this to me. The only trouble with this is that when I hear music that has an image attached to it, I tend to close my eyes in an effort to shut everything else out. I just want to enjoy my music and the image I've chosen to associate with it. This isn't such a bad thing when I'm at home or at the library listening to my music. The problem comes from the back that I just got an iPod (and I need to take the time here to mention how awesome dimmi is for getting it for me at zero cost), so I'm frequently listening to music as I walk around. Songs like "Sæglópur," then, cause me to shut my eyes as I'm walking through concourses of people on campus. I generally only make it a couple of seconds before I realize what I'm doing and open my eyes, sometimes microns away from running into someone.
Sigur Rós ought to put some sort of warning on their CDs cautioning people like myself against listening to their music while walking anywhere.