In the wake of the Sugarcubes' success, some fellow Icelanders got together as Sigur RÃ³s. Joining forces in early 1994 were guitarist/vocalist Jon Thor Birgisson (better known as JÃ³nsi), bassist Georg Holm, and drummer Agust. The teens got themselves a homeland deal with Bad Taste Records and made their debut in 1997 with Von (Hope).
The remix collection Recycle Bin dropped the next year before keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson signed on and the quarter entered the studio to ready ÃgÃ¦tis Byrjun (Good Start) for a 1999 release. Though critical and commercical success started to flow, Agust took his leave, with Orri PÃ¡ll DÃ½Rason replacing him.
The “Svefn-G-Englar” single saw daylight that same year – even outside of Iceland. New Music Express lauded it as their Single of the Week in September. Music critics in the UK and U.S. jumped right on the bandwagon in time for another single, "NÃ½ Battery," to be released in early 2000. Sigur RÃ³s acquired a broader distribution deal and started touring in the UK and Europe – even opening for Radiohead – to back it all up.
In early 2001, the band focused on making a new record. But, as ÃgÃ¦tis Byrjun got released in the United States to wild acclaim, they hit the road again in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. ÃgÃ¦tis Byrjun was honored with the Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement in Music and anointed Iceland's Best Album of the Century.
Finally, their third, Reykjavik-recorded album came in 2002 -- ( ). Though it was edgier than previous efforts, it was also more contained. That trend toward accessibility continued with Takk in 2005. The Heima documentary of their Iceland tour followed two years later.
By the time Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust dropped in 2008, well-crafted pop songs were as much a part of the Sigur RÃ³s sound as larger-than-life opuses. Touring, touring, and more touring ensued with a live CD/DVD, 2011's Inni, capturing a weekend of performances.
A failed attempt at recording led to a band hiatus that ended in the spring of 2010 at Coachella. During the break, though, JÃ³nsi tried his hand at a solo career. Come spring of 2012, Sigur RÃ³s issued Valtari (Steamroller).