Icelandic foursome Mùm’s sixth album Smilewound will draw inevitable comparisons with fellow Nords Sigur Rós. Fortunately this is for all the right reasons. I think this is a damn-near perfect album, punch-packed with effortless experimental Scandi dreampop and intelligent, intelligible lyrics.
For those who enjoy the likes of Sigur Rós will been in rhapsodies over second track “Underwater Snow”. It offers sweeping, uplifting minor chords and perfectly high-pitched warbling. But there’s much more besides.
Opener, Toothwheels, is a drum and bass (and strings) epic. Track 7 Eternity Is The Wait Between Breaths is a music box fantasy – like something from a Grimm fairytale filmscore remixed by Brian Eno.
The not-quite-titletrack The Colourful Stabwound is pacey and bassy and reminds me of Chicago minimalists Tortoise. I delight in its bitchily sinister lyric “Some people smile with all their teeth”.
When Girls Collide is a violent dots and loops classic. It’s Björk singing along to Commodore 64 loading music. Despite the Nordic comparisons this is an original, listenable, danceable album. I highly recommend it.
by Rob Finch