Sunday, June 21, 2009
Múm - Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know
01 If I Were a Fish
02 Sing Along
03 Prophecies & Reversed Memories
04 A River Don't Stop to Breathe
05 The Smell of Today Is Sweet Like Breastmilk in the Wind
06 Show Me
08 Blow Your Nose
10 Last Shapes of Never
12 Ladies of the New Century
Two years after the release of their last album, eccentric pop maestros múm return with their fifth album proper, simply named Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know, a flickering candle of an album. The album is a much more laid back album than múm’s most recent outings, more relaxed and quietly sad, often recalling sand running through fingers or ripples on a lake. And to an even greater extent than their previous albums, Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know is an ode to the light in its different shapes, from a fading bulb to the blinding sun.
Sometimes the music sounds naively utopic, but always manages to stay effortless and pure. As usual, the songs are brimming with unusual sounds, this time much of the songs revolve around a lightly prepared piano, hammered dulcimer, a string quartet, marimbas, guitars, ukuleles and in the background of a few of the songs one can hear Örvar’s parent’s parakeet singing with the piano.
The album was recorded in countless different places in four different countries, although most of it was done in múm’s native Iceland. Gunnar Örn Tynes moved to a cabin in the countryside where much of the album sprang to life, but as always múm have a hard time staying put and recorded in both Estonia and Finland. In Estonia borrowed a beautiful, many hundred-year-old house in Leigo, a place of hundreds of lakes, where they wrote new songs and recorded with the Estonian Suisapäisa Mixed choir.
Much of the music was hatched in the middle of Iceland’s recent political turmoil and uprising. The Icelandic government was forced to resign after intermittent civil unrest and the constant banging of pots and pans. By stretching the imagination, one can imagine a link between the turbulent political situation and the serene idealism hidden in the music.
The collective Mum consists on this album of Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason, Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson (trumpet / piano/ keyboards/ string arrangements), Hildur Guðnadóttir (cello/vocals), Sigurlaug Gísladóttir (Vocals/ ukulele/ various), Róbert Reynisson (guitars/ukuleles) and Finlander, Samuli Kosminen (drums / percussion). Högni Egilsson, also joins in a few songs, sharing songwriting duties on one song and arranging choir for two others and Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir plays violin