Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Festive Dozen 2015: Of Monsters And Men - I Of The Storm

Back in 2012, Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men released a debut album called My Head Is An Animal, which went on to make the widely coveted (ahem) everythingsgonegreen “albums of the year” list. It was a great little album; bold and bouncy, and packed full of references to the fantastical and the mythical. It was a "happy place", a genuine escape into another world (maritime and nautical themes abound), and I became very familiar with it very quickly.

Fast forward to 2015, and Of Monsters And Men returned with a follow-up, a second album called Beneath The Skin, which, whilst being every bit as compelling as the debut, was a much darker, far more introspective offering. Again though, I loved it, and the band immediately re-established itself as a permanent fixture on my Pod throughout the year.

Beneath The Skin lacks the one really big single (or big hit) that My Head Is An Animal benefitted from (‘Little Talks’) in terms of wider exposure, but I think overall, over the duration, it’s a slightly superior piece of work – some of the songwriting is quite wonderful and the band sacrificed nothing by way of pop hooks in order to achieve a more contemplative, earthier hue. Not so much a happy place but still a destination well worth visiting if you don't mind the occasional lump-in-yer-throat moment.

One of the album’s highlights is ‘I of the Storm’ … check out the clip below:

(The Festive Dozen is a fairly randomly selected year-end collection of clips featuring the tunes which featured most prominently on the (generally pop-loving) iPod playlists of everythingsgonegreen at various stages throughout 2015) ...


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