Of Monsters And Men are an Icelandic, five-piece band. Formed in Reykjavik in 2010, their debut album, My Head Is An Animal came out in late September of 2011, with “Mountain Sound” the second single released in the US. The song became quite popular, charting all over the world, and is generally considered the band’s most recognizable track.
In case you don’t know the song, here it is.
Peter Gabriel was a founding member of the British group Genesis. Once he left the band in 1975 amid insufferable tension with other members (we’re looking at you, Collins) he released a string of internationally successful solo albums. Anyone alive in the 1980’s and 90’s with cable TV knows his innovative MTV videos, but his first smash was “Solsbury Hill” a by now ubiquitous track about a spiritual experience taking place on the Somerset, England landmark.
In case you live under a rock and don’t know this song, here it is.
Why the basic breakdown of these songs?
My theory regarding the relationship between these songs comes from their ability to create what I’m calling “trailer magic” that unexpected moment when a movie you never wanted to see, suddenly rockets to the lofty, “oh, well, I could maybe, possibly see that drivel.”
Case in point. I’m in the theater and am confronted with the trailer for “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Now, I’m not even remotely interested through the first 2/3rds of the two-minute trailer, but then this song starts… It’s “Mountain Sound” and my impulse to say no melts away like butter. I mean, it’s gone, and suddenly I’m plotting to drag loved ones to the theater to see this obviously formulaic, forgettable movie (skip to 1:45 of the trailer for maximum “Mountain Sound” effect).
And for “Solsbury Hill”? Well, remember the old You Tube fad of re-cutting trailers, turning family “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” into a horror film, or in this case, of “The Shining”, working in reverse (skip to :45 for the most emotionally exploitive moment).
My theory is this, and its a damn good one.
“Mountain Sound” and “Solsbury Hill” work in the exact same way. They animate moribund expectations with an unbearable, rock and roll light, associating emotions that have no place.
Will Of Monsters And Men see their song rocket to ubiquitous trailer status? Me thinks, yes.