múm

Icelandic folktronica collective múm has undergone a marked transformation since losing their creepy-kid-sounding lead singers three years ago – absent those eerie vocals, múm’s music has taken on a more relaxed, almost pastoral sound, as evidenced on their latest full-length, Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know. The standard electronic touches are fused with ukuleles, weeping cellos and violins, and, occasionally, a parakeet singing along in the background. Some of the old weird cultish overtones remain, though – vocals are layered in unison, in one song chanting, “You are so beautiful to us/ We want to lock you in our house/ We want to eat you with a spoon.” But the most interesting detail in múm’s melancholic new music is its undertow of political unrest – the record was written last year against the backdrop of Iceland’s devastating financial collapse and subsequent civil dissent. “The Smell of Today is Sweet Like Breastmilk in the Wind” is particularly suggestive – despite the hyperactive cowbell that sounds throughout, it is essentially a mournful requiem for “this fleeting world of our fathers, eternal world of our mothers,” ultimately concluding that “words are only lies.” With Sin Fan Bous.

Tue., Nov. 3, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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