With Mumford and Sons forging the path in 2011 we are now seeing a great influx of bands with what has become known as the Mumford sound. For those of us who like this music this is a very positive trend. One of the best bands to surface in the last year is a group from Iceland called Of Monsters and Men and their album My Head is an Animal.
This band features the same type of beat, orchestration and sound but also features a female singer which adds a different dimension. The bands success has been significant with a single that went large in the the Top 40, they have had even greater success on the alternative, college, and even AOR radio with many of their songs from the album being featured.
The first song on the album is called Dirty Paws . ” And once there was an animal, it had a son that mowed the lawn, the son was on Ok guy, they had a pet dragonfly.” That, if nothing else, is one of the more original lyrics you will hear. And it works.
Lionheart and Mountain Song are the following tracks on the album. The latter has been quite successful but for me the former is the better song. Mountain Song is very catchy though, you have to tap your foot, and with the co singers going back and forth on lines there is a unique sound.
With co singers Nanna Bryndis and Ragnar Porhallsson, they are from Iceland after all, Of Monsters and Men certainly provide one of the great new sounds I have heard recently. With the release last year of their first single Little Talks, with it’s earworm beat, driving backing track and call and response singing of the lead singers the song is about as catchy as you will hear these days. It even features a few trumpets behind the chorus.
I liked this album very much. I do not know what the shelf life of the band is. So often when a certain sound becomes hot the charts become overloaded with copycats. We are fast approaching this with the Mumford sound. When a band like The Lumineers becomes one of the popular bands of the moment we might be reaching the saturation point. When this musical world moves on, as it inevitably will, it is hard to know which of these bands will be left standing. it might well be these folks from Iceland but my money would not be betting on it. For now though I encourage you to listen to Of Monsters and Men. They are surely one of the bands of the moment.