archiv: mum

archive review – originally posted on the losing today site early 00’s …..

(Fat Cat)

Third album from Iceland’s Mum is a thing of finite beauty that far exceeds their previous two outings ‘Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Was Okay’ and ‘Finally We Are No One’ in terms of insularity and intimacy. Now stripped to a trio following the departure of Kristin’s twin sister Gyda, you would incorrectly have assumed the trademark Mum sound to have flat-lined somewhat. Not so, cautious yes, in a way that the previous two full lengths could only hint at, nevertheless more textured and, if at all possible, charmingly introspective.

Heartbreakingly elegant and steeped in melancholia, Mum shyly play within the confines of enchanted twilights where all manner of fairy tale inhabitants joyfully skip amid nature’s splendour. Teasingly sparse, ‘Summer make good’ glides and flickers, both haunting and sensual, supernatural and evocative, and above all imparting a childlike innocence and bewilderment safely cocooned from a mad outside world. Gone are the previous attributes that were seen as brooding and pensive, in their place now a growing curiosity and a need to question.

These delicately frail trembling symphonies lightly dusted with elementary glacial folk pop warm to the touch to arc and mirror Kristin’s sensual whispers, the band having resisted to digitally manipulate in order to harness a more organic feel, hence you are treated to a flotilla of instruments ranging from accordions, pump organs, harps and banjo’s, the latter quite prevalent on the albums centrepiece the cruelly engaging ‘Small deaths are the saddest’. Elsewhere the canvas is stretched to incorporate Far Eastern touches on the monastic sounding ‘Oh, how the boat drifts’ while ‘Will the summer make good for all our sins’ vaguely sources the battle between hope and despair that is integral to Morricone’s western soundtracks. Those dreading the loss of the icicle like clockwork backdrops need not fear for ‘Weeping rock, rock’ will intoxicate you almost spell bound and succumb you with its crushing majestic intensity. All in all incredibly unearthly.

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