Sigur Rós  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sigur Rós is an Icelandic post-rock band with melodic, classical, experimental, and minimalist elements. The band is known for its ethereal sound and lead singer Jónsi’s falsetto voice.


Sigur Rós (which translates from the Icelandic as "victory rose") is an Icelandic post-rock band. Jón Þór Birgisson (nicknamed "Jónsi"; guitarist and vocalist), Georg Holm ("Goggi"; bass guitar) and Agust (drums) formed the group in Reykjavík on January 4, 1994, and named themselves after Jónsi's week-old sister Sigurrós. They soon won a record deal with Bad Taste Records, a local label, and released Von ("hope") in 1997, followed very quickly by a remix collection, Von Brigði ("recycle bin").

International acclaim would come with 1999's Ágætis Byrjun ("A decent beginning"), for which the band were joined by Kjartan Sveinsson ("Kjarri"; keyboard). 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. Two songs, Ágætis Byrjun's first single "Svefn-G-Englar" and a live take of the then-unreleased "Njósnavélin" (to become "Untitled #4"), appeared in the Tom Cruise film Vanilla Sky.

Drummer Agust had left the band after the recording of Ágætis Byrjun, and was replaced by Orri Páll Dýrason. In 2002, mixed reviews greeted their highly-anticipated follow-up, ( ). Doing away with song titles, and indeed lyrics (Jónsi sings entirely in Hopelandic, improvized nonsense resembling the sound of Icelandic), this generally more subdued collection of eight lengthy tracks alienated some listeners and enraptured others.

In October of 2003, Sigur Rós joined Radiohead in composing music for Merce Cunningham's dance piece Split Sides; Sigur Rós' three tracks were named Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do and released in March of 2004. The band's 1997 debut album Von also finally found a US and UK release in October of 2004. Meanwhile, a new album, rumored to fall somewhere between the styles of their two major releases, is currently being recorded and is slated for a Spring 2005 release.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sigur Rós" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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