My introducing spotlight this week falls on Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men. You are likely to have heard their mega hit ‘Little Talks‘ last summer, as it charted worldwide and gained an immense amount of radio play. However, once you journey past the infectious anthem you find a highly skilled band with a really innovative style.
Their debut album My Head is An Animal charted at number 6 on the US Billboard, making them the most successful Icelandic act of all time stateside. The album also reached number one in Australia, Ireland, their native Iceland and number three in the UK. It is full of fairytale narrative and organic drum beats. The wonderful opener ‘Dirty Paws‘ regales you with tales of a war in the wilderness between the birds and the bees whilst ‘From Finner‘ whisks you onto the Icelandic sea on a stormy night.
The band create truly engaging and powerful tracks, which are brought to life thanks to an atmospheric and entertaining live show. Lead duo Nanna and Ragnar harmonise beautifully and command a stage with their polite charm. The steady increase of a tribal drum results in pandemonium within their loyal fan base. I hold this album dear to me as I played it non stop in my first month in my new uni accommodation. The soothing tones of ‘Lakehouse‘ made me yearn for home whilst the gripping and paced ‘Mountain Sound‘ helped pick me up on down days and pushed me to enjoy all that university had to offer.
It is a varied and intriguing album and I would liken the experience to reading a fairytale. You imagine rolling forests and striking mountains inhabited by mythical creatures through these anthemic and brilliant tracks. This band are set for huge things, having just won a European Border Breakers Award. I predict that they will be on numerous awards lists in 2014, including the Brits, so remember, I tipped them first.