Icelandic musician Jónsi has made his highly anticipated solo return with a new single, “Exhale.” The track is Jónsi’s first solo release in 10 years.
The vocalist and multi-instrumentalist is perhaps best known as a member of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. “Exhale” represents Jónsi’s highly anticipated return as a solo performer. It’s his first release since his 2010 debut solo album, Go.
“Exhale” features Jónsi’s trademark otherworldly, ethereal vocals and hypnotic musical stylings. Along with writing and recording the track, Jónsi also co-produced it along with British producer and singer A.G. Cook. Beginning with an almost haunting piano and singular voice, Jónsi repeatedly intones, “Just let it go now / It isn’t your fault,” which doubles as a mission statement and guide to living through these tumultuous times.
The song builds, adding noise, volume, instruments and synth as it progresses towards a cathartic release of a conclusion. The video, which Jónsi co-directed along with actor Giovanni Ribisi, features a dancer immersed in a black tarp against a dark background. As the song and its fervor build and ultimately crescendo, more and more of the tarp sheds, flows and rains down across the screen.
Along with the new solo work, Jónsi also recently released another decade-in-the-making surprise in the form of Jónsi & Alex’s second studio album, Lost and Found. Jónsi & Alex is a musical and visual art collaboration between Jónsi and his partner Alex Somers. They released their debut album, Riceboy Sleeps, in 2009, referring to Lost and Found as a sibling album to their debut release.