«Of Monsters and Men» - biography, albums, songs, video clips

Of Monsters and Men is a five member, English-language,indie folk-pop band from Iceland, formed in 2010. The members are lead singer/guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, co-singer-guitarist Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson and bassist Kristján Páll Kristjánsson. The band won the Músíktilraunir in 2010, an annual battle of the bands competition in Iceland. In 2011, Of Monsters and Men released an EP titled Into the Woods. The band's debut album My Head Is an Animal (2011), reached the No.1 position in Australia, Iceland, Ireland and the US Rock and Alternative Charts, while peaking at No. 6 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, No. 3 in the UK, and Top 20 of most European charts and Canada. Its lead single "Little Talks" was an international success, reaching the Top 10 in most music charts in Europe, including No.1 in Ireland and Iceland, and No. 1 on US Alternative Songs.

Of Monsters and Men is a winner of the 2013 European Border Breakers Awards.

History

Formation and early work (2009–2010)

The band's origins began in 2009 when Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir decided to add to her solo project, Songbird. Of Monsters and Men entered 2010's Músíktilraunir as a quartet with members Nanna (co-lead vocals, guitar), Raggi (co-lead vocals, guitar, melodica, glockenspiel), Brynjar (guitar, melodica, backing vocals), and Arnar (drums, percussion, melodica, glockenspiel, accordion, backing vocals). Raggi came up with the band name, Of Monsters and Men, and everyone else liked it, so it stuck.

Following Músiktilraunir, the quartet added two more members, Árni (accordion/keys, backing vocals) and Kristján (bass, backing vocals), and continued to tour venues in Iceland and work on new songs. They were invited to perform at the 2010 Iceland Airwaves festival, and it is there that the Seattle-based radio station KEXP recorded the band performing "Little Talks" from a living room session.

My Head Is an Animal (2011–present)

The band signed with Record Records in February 2011 for the release of their debut album in Iceland. In March 2011 they went to Studio Sýrland in Reykjavík to record their debut album. In August 2011, Philadelphia's Radio 104.5 began playing "Little Talks" and propelled the band to nationwide popularity. Their debut album My Head Is an Animal was released in Iceland in September 2011 with both it and "Little Talks" hitting No. 1.

With success in Iceland, and growing popularity in the USA, the band was signed to Universal for a worldwide release of their debut album. The band released its Into the Woods EP on 20 December 2011, which features four songs from their debut album, and later released My Head Is an Animal in the United States on 3 April 2012.

The band performed at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island on July 29, 2012, Osheaga Festival in Montreal on August 3, 2012, and then at Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 5, 2012. In recent weeks, they have toured in several European countries including Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Sweden. Of Monsters and Men also appeared October 5, 2012 on the new PBS music show Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders, performing "Mountain Sound". Later Arni Guojonson left the band to go back to school.

Trumpeter, Ragnhildur Gunnarsdóttir, joined in the 2012 tour, and is simply a session player. The band has not commented on interest to eventually bring her into the band.

The band performed "Little Talks" and "Mountain Sound" on Saturday Night Live on May 4, 2013.

The band performed in the 1st Annual Boston Calling Music Festival on May 26, 2013.

The band played T in the Park in July 2013, the biggest music festival in Scotland. They performed on both Lollapalooza Brazil and Chile. They also performed at Coachella, on April 12 and 19. On January 26, 2013, Little Talks was voted into the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2012 at number two, a prestigious musical honour in Australia. They appeared at Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee in June 2013 and played at The Other Stage at Glastonbury Festival in that same month. In July 14, 2013, the band performed in Optimus Alive! festival, in Lisbon, Portugal, one of the most popular festivals in Europe.

Their song "Dirty Paws", from which the title of the album originated, was featured in a trailer for the 2013 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and "Silhouettes" featured on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It was also featured in the iPhone 5 introduction video released in September 2012.

Band members

Discography

Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
AUS
AUT
BEL (Fla)
BEL (Wal)
CAN
GER
IRE
NL
NZ
US
UK
My Head Is an Animal
  • Released: September 20, 2011 (Iceland)
    April 3, 2012 (North America)
    April 27, 2012 (Europe)
  • Label: Republic Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
1 17 14 45 4 4 1 5 4 6 3
  • ARIA: Platinum
  • BPI: Gold
  • BVMI: Gold
  • IRMA: Platinum
  • MC: 2× Platinum
  • RIAA: Platinum
  • RIANZ: Platinum

Live albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
AUS
AUT
BEL (Fla)
BEL (Wal)
CAN
GER
IRE
NL
NZ
US
UK
Live from Vatnagarðar
  • Released: December 10, 2013
  • Label: Republic Records
  • Format: Digital download

Extended plays

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
US Alt.
Into the Woods EP
  • Released: December 20, 2011 (United States)
  • Label: Republic Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
108 18

Singles

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
ICE
AUS
AUT
BEL (Fla)
CAN
GER
ITA
IRE
NZ
UK
US
US Alt.
"Little Talks" 2011 1 7 9 3 55 5 3 1 4 12 20 1
  • ARIA: 5× Platinum
  • BVMI: 3x Gold
  • FIMI: Platinum
  • MC: 3× Platinum
  • RIAA: 2× Platinum
  • RIANZ: 2× Platinum
My Head Is an Animal
"Dirty Paws" 2012 10 35 19
"Mountain Sound" 26 53 69 28 22 66 103 2
  • ARIA: Platinum
  • MC: Gold
  • RIANZ: Gold
"King and Lionheart" 2013 1 17
"—" denotes singles that were not released, or did not chart.

Accolades

Year Organization Nominated Work Award Result
2012 MTV Video Music Awards "Little Talks" Best Art Direction Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards Of Monsters and Men Best Push Act Nominated
2013 ECHO Awards My Head Is an Animal Best International Newcomer Nominated
Best International Rock/Pop Group Nominated
Juno Awards "Little Talks" Video of the Year Nominated
Billboard Music Awards My Head Is an Animal Top Rock Album Nominated

References