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ABOVE: OF MONSTERS AND MEN Nostalgia sets in as soon as you hear Of Monsters and Men. We like people to read their own things in the lyrics. It's about a couple and the husband passed away and it's from the conversation between the two of them.
The self-described folk-indie band is truly inspired by storytelling and making sure that everyone who listens comes up with their own interpretations to their stories. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MUSIC AND LISTENERS: I don't know. not many Icelandic bands get to tour a lot outside of Iceland, so that alone is just mind-blowing for us. Of Monsters and Men's song, "Little Talks," is a catchy, gorgeous folk song with a surprising old-school ska twist. We love hearing when people connect with our music and the lyrics and find their own meanings. We just want people to have fun with us and hopefully get inspired themselves. It's as if The Specials found love with Fanfarlo and Nada Surf. The songs that we write at a particular time, it's what's going on at that moment. MONSTERS AND MEN CARRYING ON: Hopefully just touring and playing and making more records. Currently, the band has released their EP, and it won't be too long until Of Monsters and Men will be releasing their debut LP. Additionally, the band will be going on an American tour (so far, they have only played two shows in New York). We connect the name to some of our lyrics and what we try to accomplish with the music. The stuff that we're working on now is probably a little winterish. When we were writing, some of our stuff we went up to the countryside. ON DRAWING FROM EVERYWHERE AND IN BETWEEN: I like Arcade Fire. BROADENING THEIR HORIZONS: The release date (for the LP) is still not 100 percent, but it's in the spring. Their first stop in the US will be in March for SXSW, and they are stoked to be touring outside of Iceland. Others are often like, kind of not fairytales, but stories. ON LISTENING TO BON IVER AND THE BEAUTIFUL INSPIRATION OF WINTER: There's a big difference with all of us. I've actually been listening a lot to Feist lately. It's pretty apparent that Of Monsters and Men won't be scared away from the music world anytime soon. We try to create stories with our songs, music and lyrics. I'm just kind of speaking for myself because I know we draw a lot of different inspirations.
We caught up with singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir on the art of storytelling, connecting with their listeners and making their own versions of fairytales. It used to be me playing a solo act called, Songbird. THE ART OF PERFORMANCE: I would love to share the stage with Bon Iver sometime. I got Brynjar, the guitar player, to play with me, because we went to high school together. We decided to form a band just before Músiktilraunir, an annual battle of the bands. Icelandic chamber pop group Of Monsters and Men broke onto the international music scene in 2011, just a year after winning their country's nationwide battle-of-the-band competition Musiktilraunir.Hailed as "the new Arcade Fire" in Rolling Stone magazine, the band's original lineup comprised singer/guitarists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, keyboardist Árni Guðjónsson, bass player Kristján Páll Kristjánsson, and drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson.Their debut album, My Head Is an Animal, was released in Iceland by Record Records in the fall of 2011.Its infectious first single, "Little Talks," saw worldwide success, and the band signed with Universal Music Group.