Published on February 21st, 2013 | by Sean Ward0
Of Monsters & Men – King & Lionheart
Summary: One of Iceland's greatest exports offer up another dose of melodic power pop with a monster bite.
Of Monsters and Men are one of the most exciting new bands to emerge for a very long time, with their whimsical and dramatic approach to pop, their debut album ‘My Head is an Animal’ took 2012 by storm. They became the highest charting Icelandic band in the US in history, when the LP landed at number 6, they also charted at number 1 in Ireland and number 3 in the UK respectively.
Before anyone had a chance to hear the album, we were treated to runaway smash ‘Little Talks’, with more merriment than a band of Morris dancers, this became a summer anthem and made the Icelandic band’s fan base grow at an alarming rate. So with such a successful debut and a hit single, how do you follow it? Their second single ‘Mountain Sound’ skimmed under the radar, perhaps shadowed by the momentum of ‘Little Talks’. However, six months on and the band have intelligently picked ‘King & Lionheart’ as their next offering.
This track is a slow burner, which builds delicately, layered with percussion and a mammoth amount of drums. Once again, Nanna and Ragnar’s vocals compliment each other perfectly, neither ever have to compete for the spotlight, they work together as one. The strength of their debut album is that almost any track could have been made a single, they are similar without becoming unimaginative; each one has it’s own quirky charm. It is because ‘My Head is an Animal’ is so solid that the band will be making several appearances at many high profile festivals this summer, including T in the Park, Rock Werchter and Hurricane.
I’m really excited to see how this band progress, having seen them live last Summer at Reading festival, I experienced their warm, charming personality captivate an audience. The tracks that were unknown back then are now well loved, with the artistic talent of Mumford and Sons and the stage presence of The Hives, this band are set for huge things. It seems they are a million miles from their Icelandic roots, with no sign of returning any time soon.
You can see the video for ‘King & Lionheart’ below