Iceland is a fascinating country musically I feel. Being tucked away where it is, there's a lot from there that never makes it out. What I gather from this is that being from Iceland gives exposure to many things that I, someone who is not from there, do not get to see or hear. After all, it is the country that produced creative artists such as Bjork & Sigur Ros; these are artists I can't really pick comparisons for because they really don't sound like anyone else.
While not to the same extremes, this is partly what fascinated me about Of Monsters & Men. A critical pet favourite is to make comparisons and the big one I see for them is Arcade Fire. Yes, they have an ensemble band size and the occasional male/female back and forth, but is there really much more to it than that? I find Of Monsters & Men's songwriting makes them stand out. Whereas Arcade Fire sing about the turmoils of growing up or reflective regret, Of Monsters & Men have a more fantasy narrative in mind. This sort of thing appeals to me, and I believe it's the isolated influences which inspire this sort of thing.
Musically it's very accomplished too, showing that they know how to write a big, boistrous tune as well as a restrained, mellow one. With hooks a plenty, it's an album that very quickly sticks in the mind. "Little Talks" is the obvious example, but then also stick in "Dirty Paws", "Mountain Sound", "Six Weeks", I could list off plenty more; it's just that consistently strong.
In summary, a very fascinating debut album from a band I hope to hear more from.