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Of Monsters And Men Adds Synth Flourishes On 'Fever Dream'

Of Monsters And Men performs stripped-down versions of songs from the band's lastest record, <em>Fever Dream</em>, inside the <em>World Cafe</em> Performances studio.
Jamie Stow
/
WXPN
Of Monsters And Men performs stripped-down versions of songs from the band's lastest record, Fever Dream, inside the World Cafe Performances studio.

Iceland's Of Monsters and Men exploded in popularity in 2011 with the band's epic smash "Little Talks." Since then, the band has been consistently making albums that have pushed further away from its original indie rock aesthetic. Of Monsters and Men's latest album, Fever Dream, represents a sonic shift with more synthesizers and electronic instruments. What's at the heart of the band's latest transformation? It's a tiny little keyboard called an OP-1.

"Usually, we would write a song like this," singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir says, referencing the band's stripped-down, acoustic performance of "Alligator." But for this album, she continues, "We were recording while writing, so we had our laptops and we were exploring that more. That was a totally new way — at least for me — to write."

We'll explore that sonic shift more and talk about thinking in Icelandic but singing in English. First though, we get started with a live performance of "Alligator." Hear it all in the player above.

Copyright 2019 XPN

Since 2017, John Myers has been the producer of NPR's World Cafe, which is produced by WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously he spent about eight years working on the other side of Philly at WHYY as a producer on the staff of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. John was also a member of the team of public radio veterans recruited to develop original programming for Audible and has worked extensively as a freelance producer. His portfolio includes work for the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, The Association for Public Art and the radio documentary, Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio. He's taught radio production to preschoolers and college students and, in the late 90's, spent a couple of years traveling around the country as a roadie for the rock band Huffamoose.