Of Monsters and Men are a six-piece folk-pop band from Iceland. After winning Músiktilraunir, Iceland’s biggest battle of the bands in 2010, the group very quickly rose to stardom in their native country.
This rise in popularity has followed them to these United States, especially after influential Seattle radio station KEXP filmed a live session of the band. So much so, in fact, that a bidding war among the labels emerged to sign the band. Universal, the winning label, have rushed published an EP (Into the Woods) last December in order to tide the fans over before releasing the band’s debut album this April. (The album, My Head is an Animal, was released in Iceland last year.)
Many people have favorably compared them to this year’s Mumford and Sons, both in their folkish leanings and meteoric rise in popularity. You can definitely hear bits of Mumford, bits of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and bits of Arcade Fire in the band’s sounds, with the added strength of horns and accordions.
While a little bit derivative of the mentioned bands, Of Monsters and Men definitely bring joyous, communal, hand-clapping folk music with boy-girl harmonies – one that’s easy to listen to and guaranteed to make you smile and sing along.
Check out breakout track Little Talks and a live version of my favorite track, King and Lionheart below.