"It’s dealing with what it’s like to be a woman"
Of Monsters And Men have announced details of their long-awaited third album ‘Fever Dream’. Check out our interview with singer Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir below.
Following the release of comeback track ‘Alligator‘ last week, the Icelandic band have confirmed that ‘Fever Dream’ will arrive on July 26.
“The main inspiration behind ‘Alligator’ was a drive and an energy,” Nanna told NME. “It wasn’t necessarily what I was feeling at that moment, but I wanted to feel strong. It was about finding that space of feeling empowered. You can hear it in the music; it’s taking space.
She continued: “It was very deep into the writing process, which was very different this time around. Usually I’d write on an acoustic guitar and Raggi [Þórhallsson, guitarist and singer] would flesh it out in a very singer-songwriter kind of way. I’d just become sick of it. I was really craving new and something challenging. Whenever I picked up a guitar, I felt like I knew what was coming – so I was looking for ways to expand myself.
“This time, I did a lot more writing on the computer and exploring sounds there. It started out like a dance track.”
The record sees them reunite with producer Rich Costey (Muse, Rage Against The Machine, Death Cab For Cutie, Biffy Clyro, Fiona Apple). While Costey pushed them towards the more “bombastic” and “out-there” edges of their sound, Nanna was keen to stress that ‘Alligator’ is not particularly representative of their new album as a whole.
“This is the odd one out, in a way,” she said. “There are elements from that song throughout the album but it’s kind of the black sheep in a way.”
“For me, this album is a different world entirely. ‘Beneath The Skin’ was a bit heavier and not as accessible as our first album, but this one is more poppy and brighter. There are still a lot of dark corners, of course.”
As for the themes of the album, Nanna said that this record dealt more with her female perspective, and that on the whole the work acted as a “learning curve” as to what space the band could occupy.
“We’re two lyricists, me and Raggi, writing from two very different experiences. This time, it felt important that we tell our own stories more,” Nanna told NME. “For me, because I was writing more on my own, they have more of a feminine aspect. It’s dealing with what it’s like to be a woman. I allowed myself to go there a lot more this time around.
“This album was a huge learning curve. I feel like I had to really trust myself a lot more than I have in the past and go with gut feelings more. Honestly, there are no rules on how to make music and get it all out. I didn’t know what I was doing when it was happening but that allowed me to be playful.”
She added: “You feel it when you’re in a rut. It’s so easy to be in your comfort zone. Challenging yourself takes a lot of work, but it’s so worth it. This album is coming out and I feel like I’m about to explode.”
You may have also caught the band’s cameo on Game Of Thrones back in 2015. While still catching up on the latest series, Nanna also said that she was keen for the band to be invited back for another appearance in the franchise.
“I’m waiting! I have my phone on me all the time,” she said. “It was so much fun to be a part of that whole world. It was bizarre because it kind of ruins it for you a little bit. You realise it’s just all actors.”
Does she have any theories of how the show should end?
“I think the dragons will be the only ones left. They’ll sit on the throne and just laugh.”
‘Fever Dream’ will be released on July 26. Pre-order the album here.