Of Monsters and Men

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About Of Monsters and Men

The early 2010s were a golden age for indie-folky hey-ho hootenannies, and among the most boisterous was “Little Talks,” the foot-stompin’, trumpet-tootin’ cavalry charge that introduced the world to Of Monsters and Men in 2011. So many listeners were no doubt surprised to learn that this joyous hit of nu-Americana originated in Reykjavik, where the quintet formed the previous year. The band’s worldwide Top 10-crashing debut, My Head Is An Animal, overflowed with the qualities that made “Little Talks” so endearing, yielding a bounty of rousing, mountain-scaling anthems (“Dirty Paws,” “King and Lionheart”) centered around the charming vocal interplay and fantastical lyrics of singer/guitarists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson. As they transitioned from Icelandic outsiders to international festival favorites, their sound only grew bolder—where 2015’s Beneath the Skin stretched their rustic roots to more dramatic, widescreen dimensions, 2019’s FEVER DREAM saw Of Monsters and Men re-invent themselves as swaggering, electric-warrior rockers (“Alligator”) and disco-dabbling smooth operators (“Wars”). Certainly, the Hilmarsdóttir we see vamping it up in gold lamé in the video for 2020’s “Visitor” is nigh unrecognizable from the hippie-ish strummer we encountered a decade prior. But even as they’ve traded folky bonhomie for New Wave adrenaline, Of Monsters and Men still deliver a defibrillating jolt that instantly makes you feel more alive.

Reykjavík, Iceland

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