Of Monsters and Men are a true delight. Comprised of delicately husky vocals, Nanna and Raggi’s melodic conversations create joyful moments of wonder and warmth. The six piece indie folk band originates from Iceland where in 2010 they unexpectedly gained huge success, after winning battle of the bands competition Músíktilraunir. After gaining increasing popularity with their debut album My Head is an Animal (reaching number one in Iceland, US and Germany), Of Monsters and Men are now challenging the UK charts.
Originally, lead singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir initiated as solo act Songbird. However, Nanna started collaborating with other musicians to emphasise her sound during live shows and enjoying this emerging sound, she began writing songs with co-singer and guitarist Ragnar ‘Raggi’ Þórhallsson. From there, the band grew and developed, forming into the now named Of Monsters and Men.
Together, the band performed at Iceland Airwaves in 2011 and consequently received radio coverage in America which aided in forming the success of their number one single Little Talks. Now, we lucky people get to hear Little Talks in the UK. The record opens with the joyous – although unexpected instrument – accordion, and is layered with drum beats and guitar strings, resulting in what can be described as a folk – rock – pop sound. With the band reaching over nine million hits on Youtube for this one song alone, their beautiful melody appears to be proving a roaring sensation.
I think the band have a Mumford and Sons / Birdy feel to them and can definitely be listened to on a lazy Sunday afternoon, relaxing road trip, or a sunlit summer night. Although Little Talks appears to have had massive hits on Youtube and the band has nearly 200,000 fans on Facebook, they are predominately big in Iceland and America but not so much here yet (their other videos on Youtube have nowhere near as many hits). However, I think they are one to watch.