Of Monsters and Men at the Palais

A while back I gave a plug for Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, whose album My head is an animal I had recently discovered. Since then, they’ve become seriously popular here in Australia (and possibly the world) and concluded their Australian tour with a concert last night at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre — which I attended. Woot!

monstersandmen

It’s hard to define the JOYOUS music of this six (or seven) piece indie folk band. Their range of instruments on stage included four guitars (both acoustic and electric), two pianos, the usual drum kit and an additional timpani, a glorious trumpet, and a piano accordion. The band has two vocalists, male and female, and it’s the distinctive combination of their harmonies and interplay, accompanied by the rich instrumentation, that creates such a unique and joyous sound.

My favourite thing about the concert was watching the various band members swap instruments — particularly the trumpeter, whose trills added so much to all the songs. A feast of melody! She also played piano and piano accordion. And then there was the way she and Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, the female lead singer, attacked the timpani drum with abandon for a couple of songs. Brilliant.

The band played just about all their songs from My head is an animal, plus one I hadn’t heard before. (Perhaps for their next album?) The audience was fairly excited for the entire performance, cheering loudly and singing along to every track.

That’s actually another fabulous thing about Of Monsters and Men — their songs are eminently singable. There’s lots of wordless ooohs and ahhhs and hahs! I was singing and bobbing along for most of the performance, along with everyone else.

Here’s a review of the previous night’s Melbourne performance, for anyone who might be interested.

Last time I shared the clip to their first single, Little Talks. Here’s their YouTube site. And here’s a new tune to listen to, to save you clicking through. It’s a live festival performance of Your Bones — a gorgeous track. Watch/listen out for the trumpet!

It’s great to see a band like Of Monsters and Men become successful, because they’re not your typical rock band. I think they’re mostly described as folk (no wonder I like them). I seriously can’t wait for their next album!

6 comments

  1. I had never heard of them, but I really like them! I also clicked on the “Little Talks” youtube video for a listen. They’re tunes are catchy and it’s easy to get sucked in when artists put so much feeling into their work. I found myself chair dancing and tapping my foot 🙂

    I love it when the audience get so involved, like when they were all swaying their arms back and forth. Energizing!

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  2. I really like this band and their songs. I’m hearing them more and more here (as Liv pointed out). I totally remember when you blogged about buying their album. I think you mentioned you heard one of their songs in one of your writing cafes and just had to buy the album it was on. Now, whenever I hear them, I think of you. 🙂

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    1. They’re definitely my favourite band of the moment. One hears them everywhere here — too much, really… it makes me feel like just one of the crowd. I liked them before they were big, dammit! (Heh)

      I can think of worse things to be associated with. 🙂

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