Hugar is the joint musical project of Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson – the two multi-talented instrumentalists, composers, producers and friends since childhood. “lost”, a brand-new track and the first single to be taken from the forthcoming album, is set for release on all digital services on September 10 and will be followed by single “IV” on the October 8. The as-yet-untitled album is due for release early next year.
Poignant and contemplative, “lost” is marked by a piano motif and ethereal synth washes, all gently nudged along by a driving rhythm. Its grace and beauty is matched by “IV”, a sparse track that consists almost entirely of spacious, elegant piano lines. Both are indicative of their new album, a poised, contemplative blend of ambient electronica, meditative strings, and contemporary neo-classical elements that covers a wide range of themes but was born from a simple, yet profound, observation in their native Iceland.
Inspired by the fault running through Þingvellir, the national park located 40 km northeast of the capital, the band thought about what happens when you pull things apart. Songs. Ideas. Even entire countries. For them, the void one creates is fertile ground for new ideas and new beginnings – the rift as a source of creativity, and a life-giving force.
“There’s something almost magical about a powerful force literally ripping the land apart, and new life appearing in the space that’s created,” says Þórisson. “We wanted to translate that scenario onto these great, temporal shifts and upheaval in our world and ask: What happens? There must be something new that grows from them.” says Jónsson.
The record also sees the duo working hard at twisting and manipulating sounds, coming up with new ways of arriving at what, on first listen, seems familiar but isn’t exactly what you think. It’s all part of their mystery and power, and their desire to highlight that sometimes, nothing is as it seems; seeking answers requires diving deeper, and a keen eye for detail.
Þórisson and Jónsson have forged a musical path all of their own since meeting as children. 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 first began writing music together in 2013, recording and releasing their independent self-titled debut ‘Hugar’ the following year. Signed exclusively to Sony Music Masterworks, they then released their second record ‘Varða’ and the soundtrack album ‘The Vasulka Effect - Music for the Motion Picture’, which got them a nomination for the Nordic Film Composer Awards 2021. The ‘Þjóðlög / Folk Songs’ EP marked their first release on Sony’s new post-genre instrumental label XXIM Records, with their third full album, slated for release early in 2022, due to be their second on the label.