Vocalist Arnar Gudjonsson was formerly the guitarist with Mower, and he was joined by Hallur Hallsson (bass guitar), Arnar Ólafsson (guitar, accordion), Bjarni Grímsson (drums), and Andri Ásgrímsson (keyboards). Late in 2001 they played with Emiliana Torrini and drew early praise from the New York Times. They came to prominence in 2002 with their single "Race" (which reached number 66 in the UK Singles Chart), and début album, Breathe, drawing comparisons to groups such as Coldplay, Muse,The Verve and Doves. The album was released in the UK first to positive reviews, reaching number 71 in the UK Albums Chart, then was re-released in the United States, and a tour of both the UK and the U.S. followed. Their second album, The Angela Test, was released in 2005 and their third album, We Are Shadows, was released in 2009.