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Sigur Rós

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Reykjavík, Iceland (1994 – present)

Sigur Rós are an band. The name is derived from the name of lead vocalist Jónsi Birgisson’s little sister, Sigurrós. They hail from the same creative and vibrant Icelandic music scene as múm and Amiina. They released their first ever foray into film-making with their tour documentary, Heima in late 2007.

Jón Þór Birgisson (Jónsi), Georg Hólm, and Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson formed the group in Reykjavík, Iceland in August 1994. They soon won a record deal with a local record label, Smekkleysa (Bad Taste). In 1997, they released Von (Hope) and in 1998, released a remix collection named Von Brigði. The name is Icelandic wordplay: Vonbrigði means “disappointment,” but Von brigði means “hope alteration.” (In English, the album is sometimes known by the alternative name “Recycle Bin.”)

International acclaim came with 1999’s Ágætis byrjun (“An alright start”), for which the band were joined by Kjartan Sveinsson. The album’s reputation slowly spread by word of mouth over the next two years. Soon, many critics worldwide hailed it as one of the best albums of its time and the band was playing with Radiohead and other big names. Drummer Ágúst left the band after the recording of Ágætis Byrjun and was replaced by Orri Páll Dýrason.

After the release of Ágætis Byrjun, the band became perhaps most well known for Birgisson’s signature style of playing guitar with the bow from a cello, accentuated with reverb, creating a sweeping, fluid sound that is unique for an electric guitar.

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