My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men
Release Date: February 16, 2010
Buy It: Amazon
This Icelandic six-piece pull off a neat trick: They make whimsical sound tough. Their debut is full of familiar indie-pop gestures: wintry, finger-picked guitars; lyrics full of woodsy imagery; tunes that swell into campfire-style singalongs. But Of Monsters and Men put muscle behind their prettiness, turning songs from cute to grand, and their dippy hippie-isms – “The forest of talking trees, they used to sing about the birds and the bees” – sound mysterious, and vaguely menacing. –Rolling Stone Review (No, really that’s the whole review)
Very rarely does an album make me fall in love quite the way this one did. Of Monsters and Men is an Icelandic band that won Músíktilraunir, a music contest in Iceland. Although this band formed in 2009, it has started to pick up steam in 2011, and more momentum in 2012.
They say that certain music comes into your life at certain times that you weren’t even aware that you needed it. This is that album. This is summer 2012 for me. That fact is important to point out for me. I assumed Mumford & Sons Sigh No More would be my album until Babel came out. (A month! A month!) But then Of Monsters and Men’s My Head is an Animal took over my life in the best way possible. All I do is listen to this album. At work, in the car, while doing homework. This album is playing. My BFF and I are going to Vegas in less than two weeks to go to a book signing with Tina. I’m the driver. If they don’t like My Head is an Animal by the beginning of the trip, they will by the end. Or they’ll suck it up because I get amazing MPG in my car. We’ll see.
The album starts off with “Dirty Paws.” Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” þórhallsson make it clear, this is our sound and we know how to rock it. And rock it, they do. Along with the rest of the band. They own their sound in the best way that they can. Then “King and Lionheart” comes on. This is my song. If only one song on this album can be my summer of 2012 song. This is it. It sums up about 90% of my friendships with people. And “Monster Sound?” Can þórhallsson just sing to me 24/7. I mean, I can’t pronounce his last name, but his voice makes me overly calm and content. They can even slow it down. Or really slow it down with songs such as “Slow and Steady.” Of course they pick it up quickly with songs such as their current hit “Little Talks.”
Just give them a shot, I promise you’ll like them, and if you don’t please don’t tell me. I don’t deal with review failure well. I do blame them for getting me through Summer of 2012 grad school classes.