Icelandic duo Hugar—Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson—envisioned such a trek on their second full-length album, they appropriately titled Varða. A tectonic shift between classical orchestration, alternative ambience, and post-rock spirit.
Guideposts adorn the path of every journey, no matter the distance. Given Icelandic extended daylight, journeymen couldn't rely on the stars, so they followed the Varða. Translated to “cairn” in English, these tiny rock towers heralded the way as the next cairn would always be visible from its predecessor. Icelandic duo Hugar—Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson—envisioned such a trek on their second full-length album, they appropriately titled Varða. A tectonic shift between classical orchestration, alternative ambiance, and post-rock spirit, the 14 tracks string together an epic expedition awash in stark piano chords, gusts of lyrical brass, high-powered strings, off-kilter guitar, and brushstrokes of electronic swells. “Similar to those piles of rocks, the songs are like small cairns on the album,” explains Bergur. “It's not about the destination though, but rather this never-ending journey, which the whole record represents. Thematically, it's like the story of an intense road trip or rally car racing,” Bergur goes on: “It's beautiful, nice, and energetic, but there are all kinds of obstacles and difficulties.”
Icelandic natives Hugar have forged a musical lane all their own with a genre-defying sound. Combining a shared passion for music and an impressive resume working alongside fellow Icelandic luminaries Björk, Sigur Rós, Ólafur Arnalds and Johann Johannson, the longtime friends and natives of Seltjarnarnes began writing music together in 2013. Through a series of impromptu sessions, Bergur and Pétur recorded and released their independent self-titled debut Hugar the following year, making it available for free on their website. The sweepingly multi-layered and ethereally ambient album quickly amassed an organic following of listeners and has since racked up over 45 million streams worldwide on Spotify alone.
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