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The other famous band from Iceland, Sigur Rós are an Alternative Rock band commonly classified as "post-rock", known for their ethereal sound and frontman Jónsi Birgisson's distinctive falsetto voice.

Its members are as follows:

  • Jónsi (Jón Þór Birgisson) - vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
  • Goggi (Georg Hólm) - bass, glockenspiel, the band's best English speaker
  • Kjarri (Kjartan Sveinsson) - keyboards, guitar, flute, backing vocals, orchestral arrangements (1998-present)
  • Orri Páll Dýrason - drums, keyboards (1999-present)
  • Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson - drums (1994-1999)

Sigur Rós were formed in 1994 by Jónsi, Georg and Ágúst, taking their name from Jónsi's younger sister Sigurrós (Icelandic for "victory rose"). Drawing their main influences from Dream Pop and Shoegazing bands, the band signed with the Smekkleysa (Bad Taste) label and released one album, Von, in 1997. Known more for its drawn-out, torturous recording than its actual songs, Von largely falls under the banner of Early Installment Weirdness as far as many fans, critics and even the band are concerned. A remix album, Von brigði, followed a year later.

After recruiting classically trained keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson, the band released Ágætis byrjun in 1999. It was with this album that the band perfected its Signature Style, fully integrating Kjarri's lush orchestration with their Dream Pop/Shoegazing sound and introducing Jónsi's method of playing his guitar with a cello bow (a method previously popularised by Jimmy Page) for a more atmospheric sound. The replacement of drummer Ágúst with Orri Páll Dýrason shortly after the album's release proved not to be too dramatic. They recorded two more albums with largely the same musical style, ( ) and Takk..., swinging between Darker and Edgier and Lighter and Softer, before settling for a more stripped-down, direct sound with Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.

Hallmarks of the band's sound include: a wall of guitars, keyboards and violins, Jónsi's high-pitched, Liz Fraser-sounding falsetto voice, use of bowed guitar, frequent use of a made-up nonsense language named "Vonlenska" ("hopelandic"), and success despite the fact that most of their audience most likely doesn't understand a lick of their lyrics. Yes, they're that good.

Sigur Rós albums so far are:

  • Von (1997) - "Hope"
    • Von brigði (1998) - "Hope Alteration", contains remixes of Von tracks. Nicknamed "Recycle Bin" due to its cover, and is also a pun in Icelandic, because vonbrigði in one word means "disappointment".
  • Ágætis byrjun (1999) - "An Alright Start"
  • ( ) (2002)
  • Takk... (2005) - "Thanks..."
  • Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008) - "With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly"
  • Valtari (2012) - "Steamroller"

Assorted other releases include:

  • Rímur EP (2001)
  • Hlemmur (2003) - Soundtrack album; the name comes from Reykjavík's main bus terminal.
  • Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do EP (2004)
  • Hvarf/Heim (2007) - "Disappeared/Home", compilation album. Hvarf has studio versions of previously unreleased songs, and Heim has live acoustic versions of previously-released Sigur Rós songs.

There are also two documentary/concert DVDs:

  • Heima (2006), which follows the band through Iceland as they play free concerts to their compatriots.
  • Inni (2011), which was filmed at a concert they did in London in 2008, shot in black-and-white with arty camera angles, and interspersed with some archive footage of the band.


  • Album Title Drop: "Hjartað hamast (bamm bamm bamm)" has not only a title drop for its parent album, but also the two previous ones: með von að vin ég vinn upp smá tíma/leita að ágætis byrjun/en verð að vonbrigðum ("With hope as my friend I make up some time/I look for an alright beginning/But I will be disappointed").
    • The liner notes to the album "Ágætis byrjun" also contains the line: Ég gaf ykkur von sem varð að vonbrigðum. Þetta er ágætis byrjun. ("I gave you hope which became a disappointment. This is a good beginning") The second sentence is also used in the track of the album with the same name.
  • Dream Pop: Moreso in their early days, but really all of it is great to fall asleep to.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Von.
  • Echoing Acoustics
  • Epic Rocking: Frequent. Takk... and Með suð were the first albums to include more songs of a reasonable 3-5 minute length. "Untitled #8 (Popplagið)" deserves special mention though: the entire 12-minute song is basically one big crescendo.
  • Genre Busting: They're categorized as "Post Rock" because that's the only thing that comes even remotely close.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: If you don't speak Icelandic, you're in for this. Even if you speak Icelandic, you're in for this whenever Jónsi busts out the Vonlenska.
  • I Thought That Was: If you see that one of their songs is titled "Heysátan", that's Icelandic for "haystack". Nothing to do with the other guy.
  • Its Pronounced Tropay: According to their Web site, it's pronounced: "si-ur (see-oor) roas (as in roast)."
  • Last-Note Nightmare: Avalon. After you've finally adjusted to the slow and haunting tempo, weird clanking noises come in.
  • Lighter and Softer: After the success several heartwarming songs in Takk..., their last album Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust is considerably more upbeat and poppy.
  • Long Title: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
  • Lucky Charms Title/No Title: ( ).
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Viðrar vel til loftárása" is Icelandic for "Good weather for an airstrike", which title-wise is in a completely different universe from the song itself. The band got the title from a local weatherman sarcastically saying "Today's good weather for an airstrike" during the Kosovo war. The same goes for "Með blóðnasir", which is awfully cheerful for a song named literally "I Have a Nosebleed". And "Popplagið" isn't what you could in any way call a pop song.
  • No Title: The album ( ). Its songs are generally referred to as "Untitled #1", "Untitled #2" and so on, with alternate names used by the band to identify them.
  • Old Shame: Von. The lyrics to "Ágætis byrjun" are about the band's reaction, and "Hjartað hamast"'s final chorus also mentions how it didn't turn out the way they wanted.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: "Sæglópur".
  • One-Hit Wonder: They only have one Top 40 hit in the UK. It is, unsurprisingly, "Hoppípolla".
  • One Man Wail
  • The Pete Best: Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson, who left after recording Ágætis byrjun. Sigur Rós didn't become well known outside of Iceland until after he left, and only hit it big after the next two albums.
  • Portmantitle: Inverted - they actually split the name Sigurrós.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Heysátan" has two: "Eg hef slegið fjandans nóg" (I've mowed fucking enough) and "Og mér fótur rann... Andskotann" (I slipped... fuck).
  • Pun-Based Title: Von brigði separately means "Hope Alteration" (fitting, since it's a remix album), while Vonbrigði joined together means "disappointment" (reflecting the band's feelings about Von).
    • The song Svefn-g-englar: Svefngenglar simply means "Sleepwalkers." Englar also means "Angels," so the title is a forced pun and can be translated as "Sleepwalking Angels"
  • Rockumentary: Heima
  • Shoegazing
  • Singing Simlish: Vonlenska.
  • Something Completely Different: Jónsi takes a crack at English-language lyrics with "All Alright". Apart from a bit of a thick accent, he doesn't fare that bad. Actually, the entire Með suð album could count, since they ventured out of their Icelandic studio, worked with a different producer and toned down their immense sound somewhat.
  • Stage Names: Understandable since most of their audience aren't Icelandic speakers.
  • Surprisingly Good English: "All Alright".
    • The majority of Jonsi's solo album Go.
  • Surreal Music Video: Quite a few.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel
  • Textless Album Cover: All of their albums between 1997 and 2002. ( ) was the first to put text on the cover.
  • The Something Song: Some of the alternate names used by the band for the songs on ( ) -"Fyrsta" ("First Song"), "Dauðalagið" ("The Death Song") and "Popplagið" ("The Pop Song").
    • Additionally, the working titles for "Hljómalind" and "Hoppípolla" were "Rokklagið" (The Rock Song) and "The Money Song," respectively, "Rokklagið" for being the most rock-like out of their songs, and "The Money Song" for the band's certainty that the song would be commercially successful.
  • Uncommon Time: All over the place on Takk. From The Other Wiki:

 "In the track "Andvari" for example, the main melody repeats itself every 27 beats, with stress on beats 1, 5, 9, 11, 16, 20 and 25. This could be rendered as seven bars of 4, 4, 2, 5, 4, 5 and 3 beats respectively. Against this there is a steady counter-rhythm of triple time, which could be rendered as eighteen bars of 3/8 time per 27-beat cycle."

  • The Unpronounceable: Their names, song titles, album titles, lyrics... hell, nearly everything.
    • To the point where their official site has an Icelandic pronounciation guide.
  • WAFF: If one band can be described as this trope incarnate, it's most likely them.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: "All Alright". Understandable, since apart from Georg, who lived in the UK for a while, the others' English is lacking.
    • Some of their Icelandic lyrics as well.