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Múm defined their approach — twinkling electronics, wispy vocals, acoustic instrumentation here and there — so clearly on their first few albums that the rest of the collective's work often seemed caught between staying in place and branching out. They do a little of each on Smilewound, which marks the return of founding member Gyða Valtýsdóttir, one half of the twin vocalists who helped craft Múm's signature sound. Adding her to the fold again allows the group to revisit the pastoral folktronica of yore, most potently on "Slow Down," a half-speed chase so delicate it sounds in danger of floating away before it can reach listeners' ears. Meanwhile, Hildur Guðnadóttir — who joined the band with 2007's Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy — represents the more dynamic, experimental approach of the collective's later work on standouts like the sprightly 8-bit synth-driven workout "When Girls Collide" or the drum'n'bass-tinged "The Colorful Stabwound." Thematically, Múm return to contrasting innocence and danger: "Underwater Snow" pits cozily twinkling pianos against rumbling beats in a way that suggests breaking a snowglobe, while "Candlestick" is Smilewound's most exciting song and one of their most potent mixes of sweetness and violence yet. Over brisk synth-pop, Guðnadóttir flirts by threatening to smash her beloved with the titular blunt object before deciding "I kind of like your face the way it is." It's even catchier than "Whistle," the group's collaboration with pop queen Kylie Minogue, which closes the album with a pretty slice of their signature sound.


Gegründet: 1997 in Iceland

Genre: Alternative

Jahre aktiv: '90s, '00s, '10s

Iceland pop experimentalists Múm were formed by Gunnar Örn Tynes, Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason, and classically trained twin sisters Gyða and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir. Formed in 1997, the group met while working on a children's play. Smárason found his perception of music changed through hearing Aphex Twin and decided that he would abandon the guitar-based concepts of his prior bands. This was fine and dandy with his bandmates. Following a number of singles and remixes, the full-length Yesterday Was...
Komplette Biografie
Smilewound, múm
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