New Audio: Introducing the Shamanistic and Brooding Sound of Iceland’s Mammut


Comprised of Katrina Mogensen (vocalist), the daughter of Birgir Mogensen, who played alongside Björk in one of her first bands, Alexandra Baldursdóttir (guitar), Arnar Pétursson (guitar), Ása Dýradóttir (bass) and Andri Barter Jakobson (drums), the Icelandic indie rock quintet Mammut formed when its members were just 14 — and they derive their name from from the Icelandic word for “mammoth,” which the band’s Mogensen “plucked out of the air” before their stage debut.

In their native Iceland, the band is — well, huge. They won Iceland’s national battle of the bands, Músíktilraunir and subsequently have been nominated for several Icelandic Music Awards in fact, their third album 2014’s Komdu til Mín Svarta Systir won three of its eight nominations including Pop & Rock Album and Pop and Rock Song for “Salt.” Interestingly, the band’s forthcoming effort Kinder Versions reportedly finds the band at their most ambitious with Mogensen writing and singing lyrics completely in English. And as soon as you hear Kinder Versions‘ latest single “The Moon Will Never Turn On Me,” you’ll quickly get a sense of why the band is so big in their homeland — they specialize in a brooding, dramatic, shamanistic-like and bombastic arena rock sound, complete with rousing hooks; and while there’s also a viscerally earnest yearning and heartache at the core of the song, there’s also a sense of resignation that says “things will be shitty for a while, hold on tight.”  And in fact, as the band explains the song is about that moment when you realize that moment when you have to sit back, let go and embrace every horrible thing that comes in front of you — because after all, it’s temporary and the world goes on spinning regardless.