The Sugarcubes and Björk garnered tremendous exposure for Iceland as a source of significant and innovative pop music, but it was Sigur Rós that gave the island nation's music a bit of mystery. It is too simplistic to call this music post-rock, because it's also ambient, symphonic and accessibly avant-garde. The 1999 breakthrough album Ágætis byrjun quickly established the members of Sigur Rós as creators of music that both stirs and soothes the spirit. The moody yet uplifting layers of sound and ocean-wave-like rhythms the band creates lends the songs a larger-than-life expansiveness that many aim for but never quite achieve.
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