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Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men
After winning the nationwide 2010 battle-of-the-bands competition Musiktilraunir in their native Iceland, chamber pop group Of Monsters and Men were hailed as "the new Arcade Fire" in Rolling Stone magazine. Their original lineup comprised singer/guitarists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, keyboardist Árni Guðjónsson, bass player Kristján Páll Kristjánsson, and drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson. At the end of 2011, a four-song EP titled Into the Woods was issued on Universal Music Group as a preview to their full-length debut, the folk-hearted indie rocker My Head Is an Animal, which was released in the States in April 2012.
The album was an international hit, charting throughout Western Europe and Australasia, and hitting number six on the U.S. Billboard 200. Tours and major festival appearances including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Glastonbury followed, as did television appearances such as the U.S.'s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a month after the album's release and the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show later in the year. Around this time, Guðjónsson left the band, and in the spring of 2013, the quintet won a coveted spot on the U.S.'s Saturday Night Live. The same year, their song "Silhouettes" appeared on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the group began work on their second album. Co-produced by Rich Costey (Interpol, Muse, Kimbra) and recorded in Iceland and Los Angeles in 2014 and early 2015, Beneath the Skin was slated for a June 2015 release.