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Single Review: Of Monsters and Men – Human

 
By on Tuesday, 1st December 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Being a folk sensation leaves little room for manoeuvre. Take Mumford and Sons for instance: heavyweights in their field, but evidence that having the same sound consecutively wears thin very quickly, you have to shape up and get with the times.

Of Monsters and Men have done this nicely with their recent sophomore record ‘Beneath the Skin’ and more importantly, with upcoming single ‘Human’. The bones from the band before are still there, but there’s a definite evolution to be heard. The sound is grander, with more of a conscious effort to include electric guitars and large, thunderous drums. “Breathe in, breathe out and let the human in” softly signals the birth of the chorus, which is where Of Monsters and Men do what they do best. Surrounded by backing chants and chiming bells, everything it contains strikes the right chords. It’s warming, charming and full of life.

It switches back and forth between the powerful chorus and the more timid verses, referencing our ability as humans to sometimes let the monster inside take over our better selves and forget who we are. “Eat me like a cannibal, chase the neon throne” may sound like nonsense, but that’s the beauty of it. We, as a species, don’t make sense and are far too often seen to sacrifice our own well being and sanity for what we believe to be the greater good, thus creating our own monsters.

The final crescendo, with its echoing and reverberating guitar sound, wouldn’t go amiss amongst stadium rock giants such as U2 or Coldplay. Both the crescendo and song are certainly not reinventing the wheel, but it’s good to hear the progression and experimentation developing. Of Monsters and Men have a special gift in their songwriting craft, going from strength to strength; come the time for their third output, we could potentially be on the verge of an absolute takeover and they’ll be selling out full arena tours and a household name in no time.

7/10

‘Human’, the upcoming single from Of Monsters and Men, will be released the 25th of December on Island Records in the UK and Republic Records in America. The song features on the band’s new album ‘Beneath the Skin’, out now. Past coverage of Of Monsters and Men on TGTF is this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EnrFe3Zb6k[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1805: Of Monsters and Men

 
By on Friday, 15th May 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Icelandic folk-pop quintet Of Monsters and Men have returned with a new single, titled ‘Crystals’, from their forthcoming second LP ‘Beneath the Skin’.  The darkly anthemic track was first accompanied by an abstractly interpretive lyric video, but the band have expanded on their visual expression of the song in the necromantic official video featured below.  Filmed in the band’s native Iceland by directors Arni & Kinski, the video portrays an eerily prismatic tableau of the band members operating a magical Dr. Frankenstein-esque machine.

‘Beneath the Skin’ is due for release on the 8th of June via Island Records.  Previous TGTF coverage of Of Monsters and Men can be found here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/_-PgPZ3F9P4[/youtube]

 

Of Monsters and Men / November 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 14th May 2015 at 9:00 am
 

Of Monsters and Men have recently announced a November tour of the UK to follow their already sold out one-off show at the London Forum on the 16th of July.  The band’s second album ‘Beneath the Skin’ is due out on the 8th of June via Island Records.  Below the tour date listing, you can watch the lyric video for album track ‘I of the Storm’.

Tickets for the following shows are available now, except for the already sold out date in Bristol on the 20th of November.  Our previous coverage of the Icelandic quintet can be found here.

Wednesday 18th November 2015 – Manchester Academy
Thursday 19th November 2015 – Birmingham Academy
Friday 20th November 2015 – Bristol Academy (sold out)
Monday 23rd November 2015 – Glasgow Barrowland
Tuesday 24th November 2015 – London Brixton Academy
Thursday 26th November 2015 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 27th November 2015 – Sheffield Academy

[youtube]https://youtu.be/tlCkafSYNJI[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1102: Of Monsters and Men

 
By on Saturday, 26th January 2013 at 5:04 pm
 

The newest video from Of Monsters and Men is for ‘King and Lionheart’. Always a huge fan favorite live, ‘King and Lionheart’ grabs you with the same intense visual images as their previous video for ‘Little Talks’ (discussed in their Bands to Watch here). Of Monsters and Men again tapped the genius direction of WeWereMonkeys for this stunner and with a cliffhanger like this one’s got, there had better be a part two!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A76a_LNIYwE[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Of Monsters and Men perform ‘Mountain Sound’ for Gigwise

 
By on Thursday, 19th July 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

The hottest thing out of Iceland at this moment (sorry Bjork and Sigur Ros), Of Monsters and Men played a rooftop gig for music new aggregator Gigwise, and here is the video from the session of song ‘Mountain Sound’. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9uZ9RprWow[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Of Monsters and Men with Lay Low at Black Cat, Washington DC – 2nd April 2012

 
By on Monday, 16th April 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Icelandic folkies Of Monsters and Men took the DC area by storm earlier this month, playing not once but twice. The first was an intimate artists showcase in the afternoon sponsored by a local radio station, and the second was later that evening at Black Cat.

The evening started off with fellow Icelander Lovísa Sigrúnardóttir, who plays under the name Lay Low. While her voice had a bit of a wispy little girl quality that I often find tiresome, she kept enough force behind it with her aggressive playing and foot stomping to keep it well entertaining. It was especially effective on ‘Horfið’, a song she sang in her native tongue. The last song of the set ‘Please Don’t Hate Me’ was a rousing song complete with looped vocals, giving a hint at what it might be like to see her play with her six-piece band. This song was more forceful and the best of the evening.

Fronted by two acoustic guitar wielding singers, Of Monsters and Men does not instantly strike you as the standard recipe for world domination. And yet, every U.S. date has been sold out. They are definitely non-standard fare that has a strangely wide appeal. No less than three different band members took their turn at the accordion – an instrument not often found at the squat, clubby venue we found ourselves at that night. Two keyboards and an ever present trumpet played by touring member Ragnhildur Gunnarsdóttir, contributed to the unique Of Monsters and Men sound. The stage was delightfully adorned with tiny white lights that lit to life on the first loud burst and continued to add a whimsical air to the stage all night. And of course, last but not least, the dual vocals of Ragnar þórhallsson and Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir with their acoustic guitars were amazing. The band was rounded out by Brynjar Leifsson on guitar, Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson on drums (and aforementioned accordion, and wearing a fetching sailor suit – !), Kristján Páll Kristjánsson on bass and Árni Guðjónsson on keys. The small stage was crowded with musicians and gear, and a wine bottle was the ultimate victim as it plunged over the side spilling half its contents on the floor when one too many band members tried to slide by.

Playing a rather short set – just twelve songs total – Of Monsters and Men started out with ‘Dirty Paws’ and had the crowd singing right from the get go. Despite the fact that the album was not to be released in the United States until the following morning (and sadly, the band were not shipped any early to be sold at the merch table), the vast majority of the people knew the words to this and many of the other songs. Ah, the power of Youtube! In fact, there were numerous cries for ‘King and Lionheart’ – a clear crowd favorite, as well as my own personal fave.

I had been lucky enough to have a friend from Iceland send me a copy early, but learned at the show that two new songs had been recorded just for the 3 April release. So, the next morning I was online adding my two cents to the juggernaut that landed them in the #1 spot for downloads that day. We were treated to both of the new songs live. ‘Mountain Sound’ included the sing along “Sleep until the sun goes down / deep into the mountain sound” and ‘Slow and Steady’ has an catchy, slow burning appeal to it. ‘Beneath the Bed’ was a song that didn’t make the album (neither the Icelandic or global release) but was a great rocking tune. However, it was easy to see how it didn’t mesh with the rest of the album and had to be sacrificed.

The music was jubilant, infectious and crowd pleasing. And the band is already set to return to the States in the summer. So when they make their foray over to the UK and Europe, be sure to grab a date when you can: America loves them and may just want to keep them.

After the cut: Of Monsters and Men set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Of Monsters and Men with Lay Low at Black Cat, Washington DC – 2nd April 2012

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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