Of Monsters and Men
My Head is an Animal
2011, Record Records
produced by Aron Arnarsson and Jacquire King
Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir - guitars, vocals
Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson - guitars, vocals
Brynjar Leifsson - guitars
Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson - drums
Kristján Páll Kristjánsson - bass
- Little Talks
- Dirty Paws
- Mountain Sound
- King and Lionheart
I love when bands from outside of the US and UK make it big in both markets. Of Monsters and Men are from Iceland. This is a folk/rock band, a genre that has grown in popularity as hard rock and metal are on the decline. The group is fronted by Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir, and grew out of her folk project Songbird. They are very reminiscent of bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire, and Mumford and Sons. However, Of Monsters and Men has two lead singers, which allows them to duet, swap lines, harmonize, and sing conversations.
During an interview, Ragnar responded to the statement "it takes balls to be a musician" by saying they have ten balls and a vagina, so they'll be alright. And so far they have been more than just alright. This record produced four hit singles. The album placed number 1 on the Australian, Irish, and Icelandic charts, number 1 on the US Alternative chart, number 3 in the UK, and number 6 on the Billboard 200, which is the highest charting Icelandic album ever in the US, beating out Bjork's Volta.
Also as an aside, these Icelandic names are not easy to spell. Also, you'll note the Icelandic practice of still using the Scandinavian patronymic system