Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Of Monsters and Men, an indie folk band from Iceland.
Six-piece band Of Monsters and Men have provided our ears with a seductive mix of slightly dark lyrics set to music that is fun to sing along to. Their songs remain fantastical, while drawing inspiration from random stories the band members have read. With shows all over the world from Brazil and Chile to Germany, Of Monsters and Men are definitely carving a niche for themselves. Now they just need to come out with a “how-to” guide for the pronunciation of their names.
Origins: Garour, Iceland
Band members: Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir (co-lead vocals, guitar), Ragnar Þórhallsson (co-lead vocals, guitar, melodica, glockenspiel), Brynjar Leifsson (guitar, melodica, backing vocals), Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson (drums, percussion, melodica, glockenspiel, backing vocals), Kristján Páll Kristjánsson (bass, backing vocals), Árni Guðjónsson (accordion/keys, backing vocals)
Known for: They are known for their delicious folksy sound and Nanna’s unique voice.
Used in a sentence: Listening to Of Monsters and Men, it’s hard to know if you’re meant to be happy or sad, but the ambiguity is kind of nice.
File next to: Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Download now: “Little Talks”
Five fun facts:
1. Before Of Monsters and Men, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir had her own solo project called Songbird.
2. Their song “Six Weeks” is inspired by the true story of American frontiersman Hugh Glass who was thought dead after a bear attack
Columnist Victoria Abraham defines one artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Boy & Bear, an indie rock band from Australia.
Australia is the birthplace of so much musical awesomeness. AC/DC, Kylie Minogue and the Bee Gees are just a few examples of famous musicians who come from the land down under. So it’s only natural that Sydney’s Boy & Bear would carry on the reputation of these national treasures. The five-person band is going on tour in Australia this April and with any luck they’ll be coming to Canada soon.
Origins: Yagoona, Sydney, Australia
Known for: The band describes their sound as “a combination of drivey indie folk and choral harmonies.”
Fun facts: Boy & Bear started out as a solo project for Dave Hosking in 2009. All the bands’ members, with the exception of Jon Hart, originally fronted their own groups, but then became friends and decided to form a band together.
Their song “Mexican Mavis” was featured on the 90210 episode, “Nerdy Little Secrets.”
Used in a sentence: “Each member of Boy & Bear looks like someone you wouldn’t be scared to introduce to your parents, plus they make folk flavoured indie rock cool again.”
File next to: Mumford & Sons
Download now: Listen to ”Feeding Line” below.
Notable lyrics: Boy & Bear sing about the struggle to remain original and figure out who you are in their song “Feeding Line,” which is just teenage-angsty enough to be awesome. Consider the lyrics below:
“My body moves in time/ We’re begging on the feeding line/ We’re lifting out above this head space/ See my body over flows/ But I got my whole damn life/ Caught up in moments entirely of yours/ But I’m finding it harder to reason in order to grow/ And finding it hard is a feeling that all of you know/ Know know.”
Career highlights: In 2009, Boy & Bear signed with Universal and in 2010, they released their debut EP, With Emperor Antarctica. They next year, they released their debut album, Moonfire, which reached number two on the ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart.
Their musical stylings won them five ARIA awards: Group of the Year, Breakthrough Artist – Single, for their leading single “Feeding Line,” and Breakthrough Artist – Album, Best Adult Alternative Album and the Album of the Year award for their debut album. Okay, you can take a breath now…
Woodpigeon has always crafted beautiful, delicate folk-pop, and their latest album ‘Die Stadt Muzikanten’ is no exception. They won me over with their heart-stopping live show, and I want them to win you over too. Check out WP’s new release, and the bonus album ‘BALLADEER / to all the guys i’ve loved before’, which includes recordings from their residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Fin Greenall, more famously known as UK singer-songwriter Fink, tours in a bus just like every other mid-level musician out there.
But if it were up to him, his ultimate tour would go a little something like this: roaming through the English countryside or vast stretches of North American highway on a motorbike, with the rest of his band and gear following in a van behind him. Granted he lifted most of the idea from biker-metal band Slayer, Greenall can’t be blamed for inventing a rock star fantasy to give an edge to his gentle acoustic guitar-wielding persona.
He muses for a moment about the very bad-ass nature of such a tour, blithely tallying the unpleasant logistics involved. But Greenall isn’t about to let a stiff behind and a few bugs in his teeth cramp his style.
“The problem with fantasies, the reality is that they’re a bummer,” says Greenall. “Sometimes you gotta go, ‘Well yeah, in Easy Rider those bikes look pretty uncomfortable. But you still look pretty fucking cool when you’re driving down the street.’”
It seems an unlikely way to start an interview with the angel-voiced tenor from Brighton, England. Yet Greenall somehow morphs the motorcycle daydream into an allegory for his music career, and ultimately, his life.
“You have to find the balance between what is doable and ‘Actually, that would suck,’” Greenall tells andPOP. “I wouldn’t be doing music at all. [People said] ‘Dude, you’re not going to be able to do it.’ And I said, ‘Well, fuck it. I’ll do it anyway.’”
The Dodos! This was an interview that I was extremely excited for. The two-piece (now a three-piece) is releasing their highly anticipated album, “Time To Die,” this fall. Last year’s album “Visiter” garnered a great deal o…f praise for its aggressive – albeit beautiful – tunes. It was great to chat with the band and hear all about their upcoming album, and I’ve also included some video of their set. Check out myspace.com/thedodos if you like what you hear.
Folk-punk band “This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb” released their first single 12 years ago, and have developed a dedicated group of fans since. One fan in particular tagged his bike with a sticker, and learned his lesson the hard way.
According to chartattack.com, the bicycle was discovered bearing a sticker with the band’s name near the passenger ramps at a terminal in Memphis International Airport on Monday. An airport police officer mistook the sticker for an actual threat. The ticketing and baggage claim desks at the terminal were closed down and people were evacuated while a canine unit sniffed around, to no avail.
Other measures were took to ensure the safety of the airport. Traffic was briefly shut down at a portion of the airport, and the owner of the bike was detained an searched by authorities before being released.
This isn’t the first bike mistook for a pipe bomb because of the band’s stickers. There have been similar incidents in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania in the past and have resulted in building closures, arrests and destruction of the bikes.
Chartattack.com also posted the band’s reactions to these incidents:
“I was at work and just kind of freaked out,” lead singer/guitarist Ryan Modee told the Pensacola News Journal on Thursday of his reaction to hearing about the incident. “I was like, ‘Oh God, not again. How could this be happening?”
Along with Modee, TBIAPB contains bassist/vocalist Terry Johnson and drummer Teddy Helmick. Their latest album was released last year, entitled ‘Convertible’.