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Live Review: Of Monsters & Men, Loose Tooth

13 January 2020 | 2:33 pm | Michael Prebeg

"Of Monsters & Men have a powerful ability to make us feel connected and present in the moment."

We join in bopping along to Loose Tooth as they sip their white wine, peppermint tea and Buckfast respectively. The trio hook us in with a catchy riff during a new song they tell us they're releasing in a few weeks and Keep On really gets the crowd moving to their nostalgic and surf-pop-tinged grooves.

Loose Tooth @ The Forum. Photo by Joshua Braybrook.

Of Monsters & Men’s latest album artwork stares us right in the face as a giant eye (painted by Jón Sæmundur Auðarson) hangs as the stage backdrop. The eye seems to be dripping and it's symbolic to the feelings of disarray that accompany the restless Fever Dream-state many of the songs on the new album allude to. It’s been over four years since they released the album before Fever Dream and since then they’ve been hard at work writing and recording in Iceland. Lead singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir explains their newfound sound is influenced by being open to change and unafraid of expressing yourself. The synths, sampling, and extensive vocal arrangements take us to exciting places. It feels light and fun. They begin with the lead single Alligator which is loaded with an anthemic pop chorus and shimmering guitar chords. Tonight is the last show of their Australian tour and they share a song (Róróró) about summer nights in Iceland to farewell our shores.

Of Monsters & Men @ The Forum. Photo by Joshua Braybrook.

Of Monsters & Men have a powerful ability to make us feel connected and present in the moment. Something that comes very naturally for them is the way they create contrast in each song – either starting off slow and building into something big or starting out with a bang and then dropping it back down. They build each song with such intense and heartfelt passion and ensure the audience can participate by chanting along as one voice. We get an incredibly euphoric feeling from their inclusive and spirited sound.

Of Monsters & Men @ The Forum. Photo by Joshua Braybrook.

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For something extra special, they share their recent triple j Like A Version cover of Post Malone’s Circles. Ragnar Þórhallsson jokes that they’ve got the lyrics printed out in front of them. It’s a very different interpretation of the song, with a slower pace, and really harnesses the emotion in the dark lyrics. Hilmarsdóttir and Þórhallsson share some beautiful harmonies throughout to make it such a memorable performance.

Playing some of their biggest singles including Little Talks early, we’re left guessing what the final few songs of the set will be. The audience sings, claps and dances throughout the more upbeat tracks and we get lost with them in their unique and imaginative world. Yellow Light brings the show to a close, its simple and soothing lullaby sending us off in a joyful dream state.