Review: ‘Beneath the Skin’ by Of Monsters and Men

I remember coming across the Icelandic folk group Of Monsters and Men for the first time after hearing their track Little Talks. I then discovered their vibrant track, Mountain Sound and started to like their emotive and powerful style of music. After a three-year gap since the release of their debut album, My Head is An Animal, Of Monsters and Men are back with their second album, Beneath the Skin.



Beneath the Skin is the perfect follow-up to Of Monsters and Men’s 2012 debut album, My Head is An Animal. Source: Wikipedia

The band started teasing the release of the album by posting four tracks on YouTube. With the emotive opening track, Crystals, it’s clear that Of Monsters and Men have held on to the vibrant and colourful style of music that makes songs from My Head is An Animal, such as Mountain Sound and Little Talks so popular. This style was also the same in the fifth track on their album – Empire, which boasts strong guitar riffs and a powerful drum rhythm.

However, the band then started to release more laid-back and thought-provoking tracks such as Hunger and I of the Storm. At this point, I feared the album would be a massive difference to the upbeat style of My Head is An Animal. But I was quick to judge, as Hunger soon has a driving drum beat halfway through the track. Whilst I of the Storm and Organs may not have the same powerful backing instruments, this lack of drums and guitar on these tracks allow the vocal talents of Ragnar and Nanna to shine and adds change to the more ‘powerful’ tracks.

As for my favourite track of the album, the final song, We Sink, will definitely appeal to fans the band’s vibrant tracks like Little Talks. With a colourful and creative use of vocals and instruments, the song brings the band’s second album to a satisfying close. For an album which develops Of Monsters and Men’s style, Beneath the Skin is an exciting and emotive release from the folk group to listen to over the next few months.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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