After about ten years of remaining dormant with his solo material, Icelandic musician Jónsi returns with the orchestral single “Exhale.” Known as the frontperson in the award-winning band Sigur Rós, Jónsi transmutes the human experience and our connection to the natural world into expansive soundscapes. “Exhale” is an example of his meticulous and experimental production.
Directed by Giovanni Ribisi and Jónsi himself, the track’s cinematic accompanying visual depicts a dancer emerging in slow motion from a black tarp. The delayed emergence mimics the track’s slow-burning production, with the dancer’s metamorphosis arriving in unison with the track’s delicate instrumentals. Opening with soft, resounding piano, Jónsi’s reverberating vocals wax and wane until a vivid crescendo of synths and percussive elements arrives part-way through the track.
Co-produced by A.G. Cook, who is currently working with Charli XCX on her quarantine album, the emotive song pushes Jónsi’s gripping vocals to new territories. “Just let it go now/ It isn’t your fault,” Jónsi repeats in the lyrics, both a mission statement and a guiding principle for the modern times.
Watch the choreographed “Exhale” video above.
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