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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal Records

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Of Monsters and Men's 2012 full-length debut, My Head Is an Animal, features more of the Icelandic band's acoustic-driven alt-rock featured on their 2011 EP Into the Woods. Showcasing the dual singer/guitarist/songwriters Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” Pórhallsson, the album also displays the six-piece ensemble's grand and anthemic style with a bent toward passionate folk-rock uplift and more layered, introspective moments. In that sense, the band brings to mind the work of such similarly inclined contemporaries as Arcade Fire, Angus & Julia Stone, and Mumford & Sons. While such cuts as the peppy, horn-driven "Little Talks," "Six Weeks," "Love Love Love," and "From Finner" are carryovers from Into the Woods, elsewhere we get the cinematic build of "King and Lionheart," the catchy, Florence + the Machine-sounding singalong "Mountain Sound," and the reverb-laden "Lakehouse." There's even the very '60s Celtic folk-meets-Ennio Morricone number "Your Bones." Thoughtfully crafted and full of melancholic lyricism and quietly desperate romanticism, My Head Is an Animal should appeal to any fan -- whether man or monster -- of sweet and wide-eyed folk-rock. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 24, 2019 | Republic Records

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Fever dream: You’re lying in bed with a temperature, sick as a dog. Every time you close your eyes, neurons start firing like coke and mentos in a bottle. Hallucinations, as fleeting as they are convincing, threaten to blur the line between what’s real, and what isn’t. Fever Dream delivers on that promise, partly due to Of Monsters and Men’s new writing process. Instead of creating music as a band, from the bare-bones guitar-vocals structures which had previously driven their folk-pop style, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson each holed themselves up to write on computers – separately from the other band members. This digital process was the result of Nanna’s observations on gender roles in the music industry: an overwhelming majority of producers are men. Why couldn’t she learn to produce her own music as well?The theme of emancipation, and how to highlight women’s contribution to the aforementioned music industry is central to the record. Starting with Alligator, which reads as an ode to feminine power. Nanna’s voice is like a beast in a cage, looking for an exit – until she erupts on a blistering breakdown, led by the Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson (drums) + Kristján Páll Kristjánsson (bass) rhythm section. On other tracks such as Wild Roses, she tackles vulnerability, through pastoral images that are reminiscent of Icelandic folklore. And despite the separate writing processes, there’s a fair amount of coherence between Ragnar and Nanna’s songs: their work on vocal harmonization on Under a Dome leads to a psychedelic synthesis, like two streams merging and parting in unexpected ways. The male tenor’s tendency for melancholy and thoughtfulness is a wonderful contrast to his partner’s determined, energetic intonation. It’s often said that a band’s third album is key in any band’s career – Fever Dream doesn’t let up to this rule. Their transition towards more overtly contemporary sounds doesn’t mean they’ve sold their souls to the devil – rather, a change was necessary in order to accommodate the new themes being covered. A powerful, convincing record. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 2015 | Universal Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 2015 | Universal Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 26, 2019 | Republic Records

Fever dream: You’re lying in bed with a temperature, sick as a dog. Every time you close your eyes, neurons start firing like coke and mentos in a bottle. Hallucinations, as fleeting as they are convincing, threaten to blur the line between what’s real, and what isn’t. Fever Dream delivers on that promise, partly due to Of Monsters and Men’s new writing process. Instead of creating music as a band, from the bare-bones guitar-vocals structures which had previously driven their folk-pop style, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson each holed themselves up to write on computers – separately from the other band members. This digital process was the result of Nanna’s observations on gender roles in the music industry: an overwhelming majority of producers are men. Why couldn’t she learn to produce her own music as well?The theme of emancipation, and how to highlight women’s contribution to the aforementioned music industry is central to the record. Starting with Alligator, which reads as an ode to feminine power. Nanna’s voice is like a beast in a cage, looking for an exit – until she erupts on a blistering breakdown, led by the Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson (drums) + Kristján Páll Kristjánsson (bass) rhythm section. On other tracks such as Wild Roses, she tackles vulnerability, through pastoral images that are reminiscent of Icelandic folklore. And despite the separate writing processes, there’s a fair amount of coherence between Ragnar and Nanna’s songs: their work on vocal harmonization on Under a Dome leads to a psychedelic synthesis, like two streams merging and parting in unexpected ways. The male tenor’s tendency for melancholy and thoughtfulness is a wonderful contrast to his partner’s determined, energetic intonation. It’s often said that a band’s third album is key in any band’s career – Fever Dream doesn’t let up to this rule. Their transition towards more overtly contemporary sounds doesn’t mean they’ve sold their souls to the devil – rather, a change was necessary in order to accommodate the new themes being covered. A powerful, convincing record. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 26, 2019 | Republic Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 2015 | Universal Records

Specializing in a cinematic spectacle that evokes wide-open vistas as much as the fathomless depths of an arena, Of Monsters and Men sometimes do sound as majestic as their dreams on Beneath the Skin, pulsating on the waves of insistent rhythms and armies of acoustics. Such a description suggests they hew closely to the Mumford & Sons stomp -- and that does surface occasionally, usually as a forgotten memory, not a rhythm; it's a counterpoint, not a focus -- but the sextet prefers the operatic bombast of Arcade Fire. Where Win Butler and comrades prefer to address big issues with their big music, Of Monsters and Men turn inward, marrying their soundscapes to tales of introspection and romance. The thing is, it doesn't quite matter precisely what Of Monsters and Men sing about on Beneath the Skin. Many of the songs are sturdy, constructed to support these grand ambitions, but these individual pieces are not as consequential as the big, big picture. No, what matters is that gigantic, sparkling rush, a sound that seems destined to fill a vast, empty sky. That they never succeed at their goal is secondary: what lasts is the vision and vibe, an atmosphere that resonates long after the album concludes. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 9, 2015 | Universal Records

Specializing in a cinematic spectacle that evokes wide-open vistas as much as the fathomless depths of an arena, Of Monsters and Men sometimes do sound as majestic as their dreams on Beneath the Skin, pulsating on the waves of insistent rhythms and armies of acoustics. Such a description suggests they hew closely to the Mumford & Sons stomp -- and that does surface occasionally, usually as a forgotten memory, not a rhythm; it's a counterpoint, not a focus -- but the sextet prefers the operatic bombast of Arcade Fire. Where Win Butler and comrades prefer to address big issues with their big music, Of Monsters and Men turn inward, marrying their soundscapes to tales of introspection and romance. The thing is, it doesn't quite matter precisely what Of Monsters and Men sing about on Beneath the Skin. Many of the songs are sturdy, constructed to support these grand ambitions, but these individual pieces are not as consequential as the big, big picture. No, what matters is that gigantic, sparkling rush, a sound that seems destined to fill a vast, empty sky. That they never succeed at their goal is secondary: what lasts is the vision and vibe, an atmosphere that resonates long after the album concludes. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 10, 2020 | Republic Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 26, 2019 | Republic Records

Four years after the release of their hardened sophomore effort, Beneath the Skin, Iceland's Of Monsters and Men returned with Fever Dream, a reinvigorated change of pace that gives the band a shimmering synth pop makeover. Stepping away from the folksy anthems that broke them across the globe, the quintet absorbed bright synths, programmed drums, and beat loops, resulting in a surprisingly satisfying hybrid. Moving past any potential disappointment brought on by the fact that there's no "Little Talks" to be found on Fever Dream, it still takes a minute to digest this drastic sonic shift. Along with producer Rich Costey (Muse, Sigur Rós), Of Monsters and Men take a daring risk and evolve, maturing themselves in the process. For fans of their early sound, cuts like the pulsing "Alligator," the driving "Vulture, Vulture," and the melodic "Róróró" effortlessly bridge their eras. Otherwise, Fever Dream sets its sights on uncharted territory for the group. At times, they echo indie electronic acts like Hælos or Broods ("Wild Roses," "Ahay"), while elsewhere they even borrow from 1989-era Taylor Swift with the lovelorn singalong "Sleepwalker." Continuing their adventures with genre testing, the poppy, dance-friendly "Wars" -- complete with groovy disco claps -- juts up alongside the experimental "Under a Dome," an expansive epic that shifts from heavy introspection to glimmering elevation. Above all, the sweeping "Stuck in Gravity" stands tall. With dramatic strings and a gorgeous late-song synth wave, the song is one of the more exciting standouts on an album of unexpected moments. Since each track is so distinctive, the album is compulsively listenable, offering something new to discover around every corner. With Fever Dream, Of Monsters and Men took a chance and rediscovered their creativity, embarking in a colorful and bold direction without sacrificing their heart and soul in the process. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 10, 2020 | Republic Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal Records