Their folk-pop hoohah is perfectly captured on lead single 'Little Talks' where they sing subtly of human loss over buoyant and brassy foot-tapping beats, placing them somewhere between the free-spirited nature of Edward Sharpe, the Magnetic Zeros and the soulful roars of Mumford & Sons. What's more, it's this blend of fantastical imagery with undertones of stark realism that plays a fascinating role throughout the remainder of the record.
"The forest of talking trees" speak of the battle of the birds and the bees in 'Dirty Paws', while singer Ragnar þórhallsson threatens to "fight these animals alone" until he finds his way back home in 'Six Weeks'. Crowd-pleasing "la la la"s and pacing stomps enhance a fairytale narrative that explores the themes of growing up, heartbreak and getting caught up in life's conflicts with poetic charm. It's a mighty feat for a group of young musicians at the beginning of their career, but one that's executed with elegant conviction.
The earthy beats and haunting guitars echo through dream-like cut 'Slow And Steady', which drifts between Kate Bush and Arcade Fire, while an accordion aids their travels on 'From Finner'. "We are so far home, but we're so happy," they chant over a ship-rocking beat, which is lucky, because with this debut collection in their rucksack they'll be touring the world for years to come.
Tracks to download: 'Dirty Paws', 'King And Lionheart', 'From Finner', 'Six Weeks', 'Little Talks'
If you like this, you'll like: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire
Watch the music video for Of Monsters And Men's 'Little Talks' below: