17 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As with any Mew recording, the true magic contained inside their fifth studio album begins to unravel and captivate you upon repeated listens. But after the first play, the genius here is clearly evident. The intricate elegance of No More Stories Are Told Today… begins with “New Terrain,” a psychedelic orchestra of soundscapes and sonic textures that yields another song named “Nervous” if you play it backwards. (Mew leaves it to your own devices as to figure out how to do this). Not since the Stone Roses recordings from the early ‘90s has a band offered two songs in one by playing it in reverse. The summery “Beach” is a romantic tune that sounds like Josh Rouse collaborating with Air, and the danceable “Tricks of the Trade” recalls the kind of ‘80s electropop that accompanied clove-smoking club girls decked out in black and white. “Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy” is an otherworldly epic replete with a children’s choir and a sonic expanse big enough for stadiums. Fans of the band’s prog side will feel at home with the bookending “Reprise,” a tune worthy of listening to while wearing a cape.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As with any Mew recording, the true magic contained inside their fifth studio album begins to unravel and captivate you upon repeated listens. But after the first play, the genius here is clearly evident. The intricate elegance of No More Stories Are Told Today… begins with “New Terrain,” a psychedelic orchestra of soundscapes and sonic textures that yields another song named “Nervous” if you play it backwards. (Mew leaves it to your own devices as to figure out how to do this). Not since the Stone Roses recordings from the early ‘90s has a band offered two songs in one by playing it in reverse. The summery “Beach” is a romantic tune that sounds like Josh Rouse collaborating with Air, and the danceable “Tricks of the Trade” recalls the kind of ‘80s electropop that accompanied clove-smoking club girls decked out in black and white. “Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy” is an otherworldly epic replete with a children’s choir and a sonic expanse big enough for stadiums. Fans of the band’s prog side will feel at home with the bookending “Reprise,” a tune worthy of listening to while wearing a cape.

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About Mew

The members of space pop innovators Mew first met in the seventh grade in Hellerup, Denmark. Before they could even play instruments, the ambitious youths -- singer Jonas Bjerre, guitarist Bo Madsen, bassist Johan Wohlert, and drummer Silas Graae -- were ready to make music together, although they initially failed as a band called Orange Dog. Madsen briefly spent time in the United States before the guys came back together in their late teens as Mew. Inspired by My Bloody Valentine, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., the Pet Shop Boys, and Prince, the Danish quartet's first gig impressed a book-publishing agent in the audience so much that he promptly convinced his company to change their business plan and release Mew's debut album.

Limited to only 2,000 copies, A Triumph for Man was issued in 1997 to critical acclaim. Making things even more dramatic for their gigs, the Mew live experience came to incorporate background animations created by Bjerre. Mew followed up three years later with Half the World Is Watching Me, released on their own newly created label, Evil Office. The album saw a limited release in Sweden before the band hooked up with Sony for an international deal. As a result of the deal, the album was ultimately pulled so that they could re-record their best work to date for a worldwide release. The resulting well-received Frengers appeared in 2003. That same year, the band picked up Album of the Year and Band of the Year honors at the Danish Music Critics Awards.

Mew's expansive pop dramatics, intricate passages, and shimmering atmospheric sound were further elaborated on for album number four, And the Glass Handed Kites. The record was issued in Europe and the U.K. in September 2005; an American release followed in July 2006. Wohlert had exited the group that spring to be with his growing family, though Mew continued touring during the summer on U.S. dates with Bloc Party. Mew's fifth full-length album, No More Stories Are Told Today..., arrived in 2009 and would be their last outing for Sony. The following year saw the release of the band's first compilation LP, Eggs Are Funny, and in 2015 Mew issued their sixth studio album, the Michael Beinhorn-produced, Play It Again Sam-issued + -. Months after the release of + -, Madsen parted ways with the band. Mew's first post-Madsen release, Visuals, arrived in 2017. The album featured the expansive single "Carry Me to Safety" and the jazzy "Twist Quest." ~ Corey Apar

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