Experimental Icelandic quartet Sigur Ros is nearing completion of its next album and eyeing a fall release, according to a post from the band on its Icelandic record label Web site.

Experimental Icelandic quartet Sigur Ros is nearing completion of its next album and eyeing a fall release, according to a post from the band on its Icelandic record label Web site, Bad Taste. "We have recorded 8 or 9 songs," says founding guitarist/vocalist Jon Thor Birgisson of the follow up to "Agaetis Byrjun," winner of last year's inaugural U.S. Shortlist Prize. "We have done the drums, the bass, my guitar, and the strings."

Recorded in the band's own Reykjavik studio, a converted indoor swimming pool, the yet-to-be titled album will consist of road-tested songs such as "Popplagid" and "Daudalagid," respectively translated as "The Pop Song" and "The Death Song." Says Birgisson, "It's just those songs we have been playing at concerts for the last few years."

"This time we took two weeks to record the strings," Birgisson, a.k.a. Jonsi reports. "We had to do them in two days last time. We used people from the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra when we did 'Agaetis Byrjun' and they had to have everything written out note by note. This time we used the girls that have been touring with us and just let them jam in the studio until everyone was happy."

"We're kind of bored with making the album so we want it to come out as soon as possible, September or October 2002 even," he continues. The set, which will be released in North America as part of a new deal with MCA, is due to be mixed in mid-June at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in London.

Comparing the album to "Agaetis Byrjun," Birgisson says, "the main difference is that this time the production will be less polished. The sound will be much more bare and alive. And far fewer little slick things and much less sweet stuff. I think playing the songs a lot at concerts and then recording them hasn't been a very thrilling experience for us. I think next time we'll record the songs as we make them [to] try to keep them fresh for us."

"Agaetis Byrjun" peaked at No. 24 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart in January and has sold 104,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Sigur Ros will likely preview tracks from the new album at a series of summer festival appearances, beginning May 24 in Reykjavik.

Here are Sigur Ros' tour dates:

May 24: Reykjavik (Laugardalshollin Arena / Arts Festival)
July 28: Galway, Ireland (Galway Arts Festival)
Aug. 1: Odemira, Portugal (Sudoeste Festival)
Aug. 3: Valencia, Spain (Benicassim Festival)
Aug. 8: Jena, Germany (Kulturarena Festival)
Aug. 9: Haldern, Germany (Haldern Festival)
Aug. 11: Saint-Malo, France (La Route du Rock Festival)
Aug. 17: Staffordshire, England (V2002)
Aug. 18: Chelmsford, England (V2002)

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