For a country with the same population as London, Ontario, Iceland’s cultural exports are vastly varied (sorry, London). The world’s strongest men are Icelandic. Popular children’s television show, LazyTown is produced there. And the island has frequently been used as otherworldly backdrops for many Hollywood blockbusters. One Björk. And ambient, minimal post-rock group, Sigur Rós.
Sigur Rós broke out of Iceland with their 1999 release, Ágætis byrjun. Several songs from the album appeared in films and TV shows. Critical word spread fast. Opening for Radiohead helped too.
By the end of 2000, the album topped most best-of lists. The following year, Sigur Rós played their first North American shows, the second of which was at Palais Royale in Toronto. Jumping ahead 16 years, Sigur Rós returned to Toronto for the 10th time to playing Echo Beach on May 28.