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!
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!