Besides having the best accent I've ever heard, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir of Icelandic indie-folk band Of Monsters and Men had much to say about the group's special track, "Sinking Man." Previously unreleased to anyone outside of Iceland, the song (which was inspired by a fictitious mafia drowning) can be found on the special 10" Record Store Day release of Into The Woods EP.
Song: "Sinking Man"
Album: Into the Woods EP
When was it released? Because we released the album in Iceland before we released it in United States and Canada, that song was like the secret song on the album. If you waited a few minutes that song would come and it's not on the U.S. or world wide release, but it was a little treat for the Icelandic people.
When did you write it? Me and Raggi [Ragnar þórhallsso, co-singer/guitarist] were just sitting around, and we spent a lot of late nights in the studio recording like vocals and stuff like that, and sometimes you know, we would just manage it ourselves. Everyone would just go home and I would be recording Raggi, Raggi would be recording me, and this song we sort of just recorded in secrecy. The band didn't really know about it, and we were kind of like, "Hey ... hear it is ... do you like it?" And it ended up being a secret song.
Do you remember where you wrote it? I don't really remember, actually. I remember with most of the songs. I think we were just in Raggi's living room. At the time we were either in my living room, or his living room writing a lot. So I think it was just one of those songs. And it was really late in the process, while we were already recording.
What's your favorite line from the song? I like "All eyes on me." It comes in the beginning then it repeats itself in the end. I'm kind of a sucker for that kind of thing, you know?
Was there a particular part of the song that was harder to come up with? It was kind of ... you know, some songs are sort of hard to get out there, but this song went down very smoothly.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be? It was just sort of this little thing, it was just kind of spontaneous and not supposed to be on the album. So, I'm pretty happy with it ... we were kind of just experimenting. I remember one thing, though. We were recording one day and [our producer] was with us, and he was saying something like the note we were going with was a bit, I don't know, weird? And he was like, "It's wrong! It's wrong! Change it!" We were like, "No! It's perfect!" And he was like, "No, listen to yourselves!" And we were still like, "No! It's perfect!"
Who ended up winning the battle? We ended up winning the battle. I'm very happy that we did.
What's an odd fact about the song? Probably just that it was never supposed to be there. We kind of just snuck it in. It was never really meant to be on the album ... well, I guess it really isn't on the album.
What was your inspiration for writing the song? Sometimes ... well, most of the time, we like to come up with some kind of story behind the songs, and we were sitting around and thinking about the story of this sinking man. A man that was drowning, pretty much. And he was in the ocean, and he's floating there, and he's seeing all these things, you know? He's a bit calm and it's probably a weird feeling. But we came up with this whole story that he was in love, with the wrong girl, and the mafia came and threw him in the ocean. That was our story. We didn't do it literally, but it was kind of the story we thought was fun for this song.
Do you have a favorite time that you played it live? Actually, we've never performed it. It's a weird thing. It's hard cause it's just a song with me and Raggi, and kind of like a thing we relate to and we really love this song. The band doesn't really get into it. Not yet, at least. But we haven't performed it, at all.