Sway to the indie-folk stylings of Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men in today’s New Music Monday.
Seriously, what’s in Iceland’s water? The land of Bjork and Sigur Ros seems to create more musical talent per capita than any other nation. The latest export from the island: Of Monsters and Men, a six-piece indie-folk powerhouse that makes Americana with more verve than many Americans have. Evoking by turns Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons, the band crafts music that is both organic and unsettling — a soundtrack equally contextual for introspective journaling and drunken party sing-alongs. The Metro UK tries to explain the strength of Of Monsters and Men’s debut album My Head Is An Animal:
The scrubby acoustic guitars, glockenspiels and campfire songs of nature and fairy tales seem to reek of indie-folk, as do the cooing vocals of Kate Nash soundalike Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, who tends to sing an octave higher than her male co-singer Ragnar ‘Raggi’ þórhallsson.
However, before it degenerates into a painfully whimsical world of hairslides and gingham frocks, the rhythm section adds a touch of heavy metal menace – all stomping Phil Spector drums, distorted guitars and anthemic chant-along vocals. The resultant stadium folk collision just about works.
Check out the stunning video for “Little Talks” as well as live clips of “Lakehouse” (which also appears on the official Spotify playlist for PQ’s own Rain City) and “King and Lionheart.” What are your thoughts, readers?