“Mountain Sound” by Of Monsters and Men
Premise wise, “Mountain Sound” reads as if it is a bit ominous. It features a lead vocalist who has seemingly run off into the wilderness to join a band of vagabonds. Apparently such things actually transpire in Iceland.
And the stated reason she has done so is because she caused some type of “trouble” at home, from which she is basically fleeing. And as far as the individuals she is hooking up with, just by looking at some of them she can tell that they’ve come from troubled pasts of their own, even though she doesn’t actually ask.
Indeed the singer comes to the conclusion that the entire lot of them aren’t “nothing like” those people you find in mainstream society.
And in terms of the type of collective lifestyle they live, some clues are put forth. For instance, contrary to the impression one may get based on the details above, they are apparently nonviolent.
Or at least that’s what’s implied in the chorus when the vocalist lets it be known that the group is unarmed. Also in the chorus itself, it is revealed that they “sleep until the sun goes down”. That would indicate that this collection of individuals is a nocturnal lot, i.e. those who engage in most of their activity in the night and rather rest during the day.
It is also in the chorus when they are depicted as residing or at least spending a considerable amount of time in “the woods”.
There is also one adlibbed line in the middle of the passage which, despite being inserted in there kinda sneakily, we have to presume is very important to the grand scheme of the story. For it is here and only here where the title of this song is mentioned.
And the way “the mountain sound” is presented is as if it could be literal and/or metaphorical.
Well actually based on both understandings, it may in fact be metaphorical. For mountains aren’t necessarily known to generate sound. However, such a phrase would probably be symbolic of the overall environment of such a landscape, where it represents freedom for the people at the center of this song.
And our second understanding of this term also operates along similar lines. Delving “deep into the mountain sound” is a phrase which is symbolic of the vocalist and her group of merry men getting lost into their own world of nature and independence.
In fact if there is one impression that really comes forth, that is they enjoying themselves out there in the wilderness, if you will. In fact this whole story may allegorical, actually pointing to Of Mountains and Men.
Basically they perhaps perceive themselves as being such non-conformist figures, ultimately being united by the “mountain sound” they generate together. For instance, if we were to modify the title to instead read ‘nature sound’, that would be a fitting description of this musical group, taking into consideration that they often come out with songs inspired by the natural environment.
And all things considered, the titular “mountain” may well be an synonymous with nature itself.
In fact we would argue that at the end of the day, this is perhaps more of a nature-themed song than anything else.
It isn’t so much about shall we say the outcast character of its subject(s). Or if anything, we get the impression that they are more countercultural than anything else. And why? Because if they were truly a group of rowdy troublemakers, then in the evening they would lurk closer to town – where they would be afforded ample opportunity to commit their evil deeds – as opposed to spending their nights in the woods.
And the one thing they all ultimately have in common is a mutual enjoyment of the “mountain sound”. This is a term which is symbolic of this selfsame lifestyle that allows them to do their thing without causing any trouble to themselves or others.
The official music video to Of Monster and Men’s “Mountain Sound” was filmed in the band’s native Iceland.
Facts about “Mountain Sound”
This track is from the reissue (i.e. international version) Of Monster and Men’s first album, “My Head Is an Animal” (2011). That particular version of the project was facilitated by the Universal Music Group who signed Of Monsters and Men after the lead single from this selfsame undertaking, “Little Talks” (2011), proved to be a massive global hit.
“Mountain Sound” served as the second single from the project overall and was officially releases by Republic Records on 3 April 2012.
The following three members Of Monsters and Men are credited as writers of this song:
- Arnar R. Hilmarsson
- Nanna B. Hilmarsdóttir
- Ragnar Þórhallsson
The first name of that list is the band’s drummer and the latter two both lead vocalists. And just to note, the remaining members of the crew would be:
- Árni Guðjónsson (accordionist)
- Brynjar Leifsson (guitarist)
- Kristján Páll Kristjánsson (bassist)
The entire band, as a singular entity, is acknowledged as producing “Mountain Sound”. And they did so alongside Aron Arnarsson and Jacquire King.
Success of “Mountain Sound”
This song proved to be a hit, as were pretty much all Of Monster and Men’s early releases. It really caught on the United States. There, it topped Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs list and received platinum certification via the RIAA.
It also charted in a few other countries. This included making an appearance on the UK Singles Chart. In addition to that, it was also certified platinum in Australia.
“My Head Is an Animal”
Of Monster and Men recorded their first studio album, “My Head is an Animal” in two sessions. The first spanning from 26th to the 28th March 2011 and the revised version from the 9th to the 25th of January 2012.
The album was recorded in the Vatnagaroar Studio and Studio Syrland. Its producers were the band’s members, along with Jacquire King and Aron Arnarsson.
The front of the album’s international cover is a photo captured by lead guitarist Brynjar Leifsson’s grandfather of his friend. The photo on the back cover was selected by guitarist Ragnar “Raggi” Porhallsson from his family photos.
The album was initially vintage ditched in a black and white with a photo of men dressed to play the game of Gilma.
“My Head is an Animal” was released in different sections. Firstly, as a classic Icelandic release with eleven tracks. After the band signed with Universal Music Group, the album was re-issued but with 12 tracks. The third issue comprised two iTunes bonus tracks.
It has received Gold certifications from the Irish Recorded Music Association and British Phonographic Industry. It has also been certified 14x Platinum in Denmark, 2x Platinum in Australia and 2x Platinum in Canada.
The album’s official singles are as follows: