Release Date 01/21/2022
(XXIM Records / Sony)
Today XXIM Records announces the new single and video “volt” from Icelandic band Hugar’s sophomore release on the label. Hugar is the joint musical project of Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson – the two multi-talented instrumentalists, composers, producers and friends since childhood. “volt” is the latest release from the duo’s upcoming album, titled Rift, which will be released January 21, 2022 on XXIM Records/Sony.
The quietly addictive track “Volt” pulses with singular sureness and is tinged with epic piano, synthesizer, and cinematic trombone. The slow yet seismic evolution of the track is subtly reflected in the video directed by Iceland-based videographer Blair Alexander Massie. The track encapsulates the origins of the upcoming album Rift. 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, their second on the label.