Iceland Mag

12 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Culture

Veterans with a steady stream of catchy tunes

By Dr. Gunni

  • Mono Town Brothers Daði (left) and Börkur, sons of Birgir, and their cousin vocalist and guitarist Bjarki Sigurðsson in the middle. Photo/Hörður Sveinsson

DR. GUNNI'S WORLD OF ICELANDIC MUSIC

The Icelandic trio Mono Town supported the U.S. indie legends The Pixies as special guests on several gigs on their European tour last autumn, and now, after a long wait, their debut album is finally out.

A monotown is a town whose economy is dominated by a single industry or company, so the band might have the Icelandic fishing or aluminum industries in mind.

Mono Town’s music can be summed up as adult alternative pop-rock. On their debut album, In the Eye of the Storm, they take hints from Arcade Fire, Radiohead, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, to conjure up a steady stream of catchy tunes. The mood is relaxing and harmonic, with occasional spunky and upbeat moments. Outstanding tunes are the radio-friendly pop song “Peacemaker,” the string-laden slow groove of “Jackie O,” the rhythmical ballad “Two Bullets,” and the relentless closing song “Can Deny.”

The Mono Town band is made up of the multi-instrumentalist brothers Börkur and Daði, sons of Birgir, and their cousin, ex-national-team handballer, vocalist, and guitarist Bjarki Sigurðsson.

The brothers’ back catalogue includes a jazzy funk band called Jagúar and a wealth of session work under the alias Bensínbræður (Gasoline Brothers). Bjarki also put out a solo album in 2007, Good Morning Mr. Evening.

monotown_album.jpg

In the Eye of the Storm The cover of Monotown's debut album.

To promote their music internationally the band formed a relationship with the streaming service Deezer. The album was initially released exclusively on Deezer, and in just under two months it received well over a million streams  on the site. The album can also be streamed on the band’s homepage. It has also been released on vinyl and CD by Record Records, the leading Icelandic record label.

Mono Town has already gained some ground outside of Iceland. They supported the U.S. indie legends The Pixies as special guests on several gigs on their European tour last November and played a sold-out show in Paris as part of a festival called Air d’Islande.

They have confirmed two shows in Iceland to launch The Eye Of The Storm. The shows will take place on April 3rd at Gamla Bíó in Reykjavík and April 12th at Græni Hatturinn in Akureyri. Further plans for a stellar 2014 are underway.

Outstanding tunes are the radio friendly pop song "Peacemaker", the stringladen slow groove of "Jackie O", the rhythmical ballad "Two Bullets" and the relentless closing song "Can Deny".

Mono Town has already gained some ground outside of Iceland. They supported U.S. indie legends The Pixies as special guests on several gigs on their European tour last November and played a sold out show in Paris as a part of a festival called Air D´Islande. 

They have confirmed two shows in Iceland to launch The Eye Of The Storm. The shows will take place on April 3rd at Gamla Bíó in Reykjavík and April 12th at Græni Hatturinn in Akureyri. Further plans for a stellar 2014 are underway.

Watch them perfom Peacemaker live here.

 

 

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