Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir

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Nanna Bryndís
Nanna in 2011
Nanna in 2011
Background information
Birth nameNanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir
Born (1989-05-06) 6 May 1989 (age 32)
Garður, Iceland
  • singer-songwriter
  • musician
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active2009–present
Associated actsOf Monsters and Men, Ólafur Arnalds

Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir (born 6 May 1989) is an Icelandic musician. Nanna originally performed solo, performing by the name Songbird. She is now the lead vocalist and guitarist, along with Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson, of the Icelandic indie folk band Of Monsters and Men.


Nanna was raised in Garður, a town in southwestern Iceland.[1] As a youth, Nanna attended music school. Before Of Monsters and Men had been established, Nanna had a solo musical project called Songbird, she wrote and performed music on open mic nights around Reykjavik and was a video store clerk.[2][3]

Of Monsters and Men[edit]

Since expanding her Songbird phase, Nanna recruited five musicians, that eventually became Of Monsters and Men in 2010 – Brynjar Leifsson, Ragnar Þórhallsson, Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, Árni Guðjónsson (now, ex-member), and Kristján Páll Kristjánsson.[3] After a week of working together, they won the annual music competition Músíktilraunir.[3]

They soon released their debut studio album My Head Is an Animal in late 2011. The album charted in multiple regions and the band gained popularity worldwide.[4] After the Seattle radio station KEXP broadcast a performance from Ragnar's living room, the band went viral.[5] The album reached No.1 in Australia, Iceland and Ireland and No.1 on the U.S. Rock and Alternative charts. The band was tapped to write a song for the film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and then a single Dirty Paws that was used in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 18 months after its release.[6] The song "I of the Storm" was included in the USA television series "Falling Water".

They released three singles called "Little Talks", "Mountain Sound", and "King and Lionheart" and music videos for each. The videos received several million views on YouTube, the one for "Little Talks" having the most views (306 Million views as of April 2021).[7]

The band went on to release the album Beneath the Skin in 2015, along with three music videos and thirteen lyric videos. Their latest album, Fever Dream, was released in May 2019. They performed the songs “Alligator”, “Wild Roses”, and “Wars" on Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen and released music videos for each.


Nanna cites some of her favorite musicians/influences as Gayngs, Lianne La Havas, Arcade Fire, Feist, and Justin Vernon, of the alt-folk band Bon Iver.[8][9][10] She has said she would love to collaborate with Bon Iver.[11]


  1. ^ Kate Mossman (12 August 2012). "Of Monsters and Men: 'We found we could bond better by telling each other fairytales' | Music | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Independent Philly (2 April 2012). "Interview with Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir of Monsters And Men". Independent Philly. Retrieved 27 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c "Interview: A 'little talk' with Of Monsters and Men". Rappler. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Of Monsters And Men: From Reykjavik With Love". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  5. ^ Mossman, Kate (11 August 2012). "Of Monsters and Men: 'We found we could bond better by telling each other fairytales'". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  6. ^ Morton, Philip David (17 August 2015). "Of Monsters And Men in LA". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  7. ^ Of Monsters and Men (2 February 2012). "Little Talks" Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Music Interview: Of Monsters And Men". 3 April 2012. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Discovery: Of Monsters and Men". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  10. ^ "MAN ON THE SIDE: Interview with Manila-bound Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men". GMA News Online. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Discovery: Of Monsters and Men". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 5 September 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)