mum

It’s a bummer for múm, and not entirely their fault, that pop music from Iceland has such a specific aesthetic and such a well-loved queen. That is to say that the bits of ‘Smilewound’ that involve songs about being quiet, or sound like being trapped in a toy box while someone stage whispers at you in Parseltongue, are difficult to take seriously. However, they do have a knack for nimble, shimmering production and you can’t help thinking that if múm were roped in to rework the top 40 it would be pretty interesting.

The first and best track here, ‘Toothwheels’, is masterful, all languid viola and brooding beats that could easily take a serious R&B vocal. Elsewhere there are ZX Spectrum freak-outs, rustling soundscapes and an upbeat song about killing someone with a candlestick – a shrewd move to avoid the dinner party chillwave genre that would otherwise beckon.

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