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On her solo debut, Nanna considers the gargantuan task of starting over

Things have come full circle for Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir. She started her musical career as a solo artist, recording under the name Songbird, before it quickly morphed into the band, Of Monsters and Men. And you know how that went: Their first single, "Little Talks," became a worldwide hit. Since then, the band's released three successful albums, most recently 2019's Fever Dream.

Nanna's life was upended by the pandemic. With no tour to go on, she retreated to a cabin outside of Reykjavík, one she lovingly calls the witch hut, and took some time for reflection. It led to what she started doing in the first place: a solo album, fittingly called How to Start a Garden. In this session, Nanna talks about how that musical garden's seeds were planted and how they grew and flourished.

Copyright 2023 XPN

Stephen Kallao
Miguel Perez
Miguel Perez is a radio producer for NPR's World Cafe, based out of WXPN in Philadelphia. Before that, he covered arts, music and culture for KERA in Dallas. He reported on everything from the rise of NFTs in the music industry to the enduring significance of gay and lesbian bars to the LGBTQ community in North Texas.