29 Reykjavik, Iceland

Creative Commons / Nic McPhee

The beautiful capital city of Iceland has quietly developed a well respected music scene, which has catapulted a number of experimental rock and pop groups to international recognition.

The wonderfully eccentric Bjork made her name in local band The Sugarcubes before becoming a successful solo artist in the early 1990s, and probably the most famous Icelander ever.

Sigur Rós formed in the early 1990s, and their experimental, dreamy post-rock eventually led to worldwide recognition and acclaim around a year after the release of their brilliant second album Ágætis Byrjun in 1999. Their sophomore effort was subsequently named Icelandic album of the 20th century. The band’s main vocalist Jónsi Birgsson has since carved out a successful solo career alongside his band duties.

Uncovential and experimental outfit múm have also made a bit of a name for themselves outside Iceland, with the band’s multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir collaborating with Animal Collective and Avey Tare, the latter both on record and in a brief marriage.

Furthermore, Manchester post-punk legends The Fall recorded parts of their classic record Hex Enduction Hour in Iceland, paying  a tribute of sorts to the country with an eponymous song.

Associated acts: Sigur Rós, The Sugarcubes, Bjork, Jónsi, GusGus, múm