Fresh Music Fridays: Of Monsters and Men (Album Review)
Crossing over to the American music scene is not an easy feat, unless your lead single is promoted by large radio stations a year before your album is completed. This rare opportunity happened to Of Monsters and Men when their single “Little Talks” was heard by Seattle and Philadelphia radio disc jockeys in late 2010. The DJs fell in love with the song and began to put the single in heavy rotation. It was not luck, but a wonderful refreshing sound that afforded them this chance. The band formed a few months before the single was released to compete in a music competition (which they won). Thanks in large part to the radio station play and amazing fan buzz via social media, their debut album, My Head is an Animal,which was released on Tuesday, April 3, is sitting comfortably at the top of the iTunes charts and it shows no signs of moving.
Of Monsters and Men traveled from their home of Iceland last month to make their US debut at the South by Southwest music festival. The indie-folk/rock/pop sextet band reminds me of a perfect blend of Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons, maybe it is the large multi-instrumental band or the quirky lyrics that draws the comparison. Although many have compared them to these bands, they have their own unique sound and flare that stands out. All of the band members are true dreamers and they are obsessed with fantasy and mythical stories. These feelings can be heard in their lyrics and seen in their first music video. When you listen to the female lead her enchanting voice pulls you into a world that the band has created and you don’t want to escape. The female and male lead singer have light soothing voices on ballads that turn into powerhouses on foot stomping head banging tunes like “Mountain Sound”. I am a true fan of any band that has a female trumpet player and can make the accordion a cool instrument to rock.
My favorite tracks are slow tune, “Love Love Love” and anthems “Sloom” and “From Finner.” I take that back, every track is amazing! You can surely find a song that perks your ears. I give their debut album, FIVE Star, and two thumbs up! This is the perfect spring album, each song makes you dream,think about love, happiness, and just dancing in a field. I encourage you to get their new album which is on sale for $6.99 this week on iTunes. Also, check their website to see if their tour is coming through a townnear you. With their album release, dates are selling out quickly and they have even added new free shows for fans. Unfortunately, they are not coming to Nashville, but I have a feeling they will be making more American festival appearances in the near future.
Great instrumentation accompanied with beautiful harmonies and hypnotic lyrics are why Of Monsters and Men are this week’s Fresh Music Artist. This band has had one of the most brilliant American debuts and it was all created off of buzz from their first single. I can not wait to see just how far they will go.