Sigur Rós, Ice Cube Headline Treasure Island Music Festival

The two-day festival celebrates a 10th anniversary this year with Glass Animals, Purity Ring, Day Wave, Kamaiyah, and many more bands.


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Sigur Rós hits stateside to perform at the 10th annual Treasure Island Music Festival.

Alfredo Arias-Horas

Dreampop band Sigur Rós hails from Iceland, part of the same legend-infused Nordic tradition that gave rise to description-confounding acts like the Sugarcubes, Bjork, and Múm. Sigur Rós formed in ’90s Reykjavik, creating music that combined the soothing drone of a lullaby with the jarring edge of an industrial turbine and has gone on to charm the world with an ethereal sound that is partly rock, partly ambient, and partly string quartet.

American audiences might be forgiven for thinking that they can’t understand the lyrics without knowing Icelandic; in reality, lead vocalist Jón Þór Birgisson often sings in an invented gibberish the band calls “Vonlenska,” with a cadence that imitates the flow of real language like Pentecostal tongues.

With the departure of keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson in 2013, the band reimagined itself as a trio but continues to produce the same haunting ballads that speak of the lush, misty coastal fjords and barren yet beautiful volcanic deserts of its homeland.

Sigur Rós hits stateside to perform at the 10th annual Treasure Island Music Festival in October.  Also taking the stage will be rapper and actor Ice Cube, beloved for his cheek-pinchingly adorable sour scowl that’s impossible not to love, as well as English indie rock band Glass Animals and Canadian electronic duo Purity Ring, among many others.

Oct. 15-16. $159-$335. Treasure Island, San Francisco. www.TreasureIslandFestival.com/2016

Published online on Oct. 11, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.

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