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My Head Is an Animal

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Album Review

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.


Formed: 2010 in Keflavík, Iceland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

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....
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My Head Is an Animal, Of Monsters and Men
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