This Icelandic six-piece pull off a neat trick: They make whimsical sound tough. Their debut is full of familiar indie-pop gestures: wintry, finger-picked guitars; lyrics full of woodsy imagery; tunes that swell into campfire-style singalongs. But Of Monsters and Men put muscle behind their prettiness, turning songs from cute to grand, and their dippy hippie-isms – "The forest of talking trees, they used to sing about the birds and the bees" – sound mysterious, and vaguely menacing.
Listen to Of Monsters and Men:
• Photos: Random Notes