The Indie music scene has been teeming with great bands, and this week we will put The Head and the Heart face to face with Of Monsters and Men.
It’s fairly hard to judge bands if you don’t have a little background.
The Head and the Heart hail from the great city of Seattle. The band formed in the summer of 2009 and debuted its self-titled album “The Head and the Heart” in June of that year. This year, the band released its second album, “Let’s Be Still” Oct. 15.
Of Monsters and Men is an Icelandic band, but its members sing in English. The band formed in 2010 and released its album “My Head is an Animal” in 2011. The album peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Now let’s get down to it.
First up for comparison are the bands’ vocals. The Head and the Heart centers around vocal harmonies between the three vocalists of the band: Josiah Johnson, Jonathan Russell and Charity Thielen.
The unconventional voices of Jonathan Russell and Charity Thielen really stand out. The two have gritty, booming voices that set them apart from most artists, and Josiah Johnson is there to balance it all out. They have the perfect vocal trio and absolutely rock the vocal harmonies.
Although The Head and the Heart has outstanding vocals, Of Monsters and Men has a duet that can match it. Of Monsters and Men’s vocalists consist primarily of Nanna Himarsdottir and Ragnar Porhallsson.
They may have extremely difficult names to spell, but their vocals are like candy for your ears. The two have very clean voices that perfectly match each other.
There isn’t very much of a change in the vocals from song to song and they can seem repetitive after a while, but the band still produces an amazing sound. They may not be gritty like The Head and the Heart, but after you hear one song, you’ll be itching for more.
As far as style goes, both bands fall under the musical genre known as “Indie,” but this does not mean they have similar styles. The Head and the Heart tends to have a prominent acoustic sound incorporated with the perfect touch of piano, violin and drums. The band’s classic finger-picking guitar styles and its utilization of piano and violin, when combined with the vocals, ends up producing a very distinctive style.
Of Monsters and Men tends to be a bit more diverse when it comes to style. The band likes to use the acoustic sound in some songs but often switches to electric guitar with some horns and sound effects sprinkled in.
In this battle between two prominent Indie figures, The Head and the Heart emerges victorious. Its skilled harmonic trio and acoustic sound is a force to be reckoned with. The Head and the Heart may not be as popular as Of Monsters and Men, but it did originate just up north in Seattle, and is definitely a band to watch.
That being said, both bands are worth checking out. Now go fill your debit card, search them on iTunes and press the download button like there is no tomorrow. ◼︎