Icelandic emotional post-rock collective VAR have debuted ‘Moments’, the first single from their new full length album, ‘The Never-Ending Year’, set for release on on April 24.
VAR, from Reykjavík, has signed with Spartan Records, who also represent Fallow Land, and Giants Chair, and will release a new album titled ‘The Never-Ending Year’ on April 24.
First single, ‘Moments’, premiered on Everything Is Noise, who said of the track,
“The dreamy movements of this track are the perfect complement to the band’s distinct sound. It’s triumphant, poignant, and epic all in equal proportion, with slick production, immaculate composition and beautiful vocals.”
Bassist Egill Björgvinsson says,
‘Moments’ was written shortly before our tour to Japan in December 2017 and was put on the setlist just before leaving. When we got back home we decided to record the song and contacted our friend Eiður Steindórsson to produce and record with us. We really liked working with Eiður and the sound he brought, so we decided to make a whole record with him. So one could say that ‘Moments’ set the tone for the whole album. Lyrically the song is about enjoying moments with the ones who are closest to you; family, friends.”
‘The Never-Ending Year’ is available to pre-order here, which includes an instant grat download of ‘Moments’.
VAR began in 2013, as a solo project of Júlíus Óttar, (vocals, guitar, piano), who soon realised his vision for the project could not be fulfilled without additional collaborators. He called upon his wife Myrra Rós (synths, vocals) his brother Egill Björgvinsson (bass), and friends Arnór Jónasson (guitar) and Andri Freyr Þorgeirsson (drums). VAR then with this line-up wrote and recorded the EP ‘Vetur’, and performed for several years, all the while building a fiercely loyal fanbase. With time and competing responsibilities, Myrra Rós was pulled in a different direction and drummer Sigurður Ingi Einarsson replaced Andri Freyr to solidify the band’s current and more concentrated lineup.
It was this transition that served as a catalyst for the reimagining of VAR’s sound.
“The meaning of the name VAR comes from ships entering into the harbor to seek shelter from bad weather out at sea,” says Júlíus Óttar. “The band practices in an old fish plant by the shore in a small fishing village on the south coast. The power and the noise of the ocean is bound to influence you.”
“When we began writing ‘The Never-Ending Year’ we had to compensate for members leaving. This is when we started playing louder and faster,” says Egill Björgvinsson.
While loud and fast are the resounding highs on the record, it is the subtle and intricate builds that create the band’s arresting dynamic, in essence the album a wandering journey and a deeply involved listen. While the album was being written, VAR entered the studio for the first time with a dedicated producer.
“We recorded the song ‘Moments’ before we had decided to make the full record, and we contacted our friend Eiður to work with us on the single. He had a specific sound that we wanted to try out, and the collaboration was really great — so we moved forward with him from there,” says Júlíus Óttar.
One of the big decisions the band had to make with ‘The Never-Ending Year’ was which language to use for the vocals.
“Lyrically there was not a conscious decision to sing in English, until then most of our songs have been in Icelandic. Somehow the feeling of the songs called for English lyrics and we let that feeling flow through the album.”
The entire process of writing and recording the album took one year, and it was one with both high and low tides. It was a year that moved slowly; one that seemed as if it would never cease to end.
During this period, the band split their time between Júlíus Óttar’s small hometown, and the comparative busyness of Reykjavik. This prolonged and frequent transition between the calm and the commotion took palpable root in the evolution of ‘The Never-Ending Year’ — it is unmistakably present in the progression of the album while listening. Equal parts anxious and angelic; resonating and responsive.
‘The Never-Ending Year’ is one of Spartan Records most awe-inspiring releases to date, and a record that will grow and evolve with each listen. Stay tuned to Spartan Records for more information, including song releases and stunning live performance footage — words fail to accurately describe the experience of both seeing and hearing the band live.
‘The Never-Ending Year’ Track Listing:
5. By The Ocean
6. Where To Find You
9. Still I Miss You