Of Monsters and Men | "Into The Woods"
Artist: Of Monsters and Men
Album: Into the Woods
My first listen-through of the Icelandic band’s debut album, Into the Woods, was a – what can I say – organic experience. Their sound is definitely experimental, incorporating the trumpet, glockenspiel and accordion with spontaneous clapping and whooping. There’s something I can’t quite place a finger on about their tunes though – many of them have a faraway quality, reminiscent of something medieval; something folksy. Nevertheless, this delightful mix of old and new kindles hearty tunes of wanderlust and leisurely insouciance.
The world that Of Monsters and Men creates through their music is a dreamscape that immediately brings to mind the film Where The Wild Things Are. Songs of running gaily through the forests, sailing on ships in the winter night, sharing a meal with a wolf, chasing a fox… it’s all a huge adventure and we’re taken on a jaunt with them Into The Woods. Singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s crystalline voice is like a chime, with fellow singer Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson and the medley of instruments adding on to create a saturated sound that peaks and plummets like heartbeats.
Their lead single, “Little Talks”, is a lively song with shouts of “Hey! Hey! Hey!”, and this dips to a mellow tune of a voyage far from home in “From Finner”. The tempo mostly dips towards the end of the album – “Yellow Light” is one of my favourites, a haunting melody of two people finding their way through the dark – “Just grab a hold of my hand / I will lead you through this wonderland”, and the final track “The Sinking Man”, lulls you to a soft stillness with metaphors of the sea as a huge blanket rocking you to sleep.
Strange and beautiful, this album might take more than a listen to get your attention, but give it a chance and you might find that it stirs your soul.
– Kelly Koo
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