Album: Riceboy Sleeps, Riceboy Sleeps, (Parlophone)

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The Independent Culture

Sigur Ros's Jon Thor Birgisson certainly can't be accused of wrongfooting anyone with this instrumental side-project with boyfriend Alex Somers.

Comprised of nine tracks, but playing as one, long, ambient understatement, it finds disembodied choirs cooing over yearning strings, while fragmented piano lines drift through mists of distortion. The effect is hymnal, glacial and, yes, Icelandic to a T. If it's nothing more than aural wallpaper, then at least it's the most prettily-detailed kind.