Iceland has a long tradition of Nordic myths and folk tales, many involving spirits and animals transforming themselves into people. So, it's not too surprising that a band like Of Monsters and Men would call their debut album, "My Head is an Animal," and create a song like "Dirty Paws," about an epic battle between the birds and the bees and a four-pawed beast that saves the day.
What's impressive is that they pull it off in a way that appeals to fellow Icelanders and to an international audience. It's quirky stuff with a campfire feel, but it also has an edge and an exuberant energy that recalls some of their favorite bands and singers from Mumford and Sons to Feist.
Where do their songs come from? "The wind whispers to us," says Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir, the co-lead singer and guitarist. "Iceland is a magical place and all that cold and rain keeps us indoors where we can write."
Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, singer
Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson, singer
Brynjar Leifsson, guitar
Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, drums
Árni Guðjónsson, accordion
Kristján Páll Kristjánsson, bass
Ragnhildur Gunnarsdottir, trumpet, on their 2012 tour
Official website: Of Monsters and Men
Sound Tracks website