Múm Summer Make Good

[Fat Cat; 2004]

Styles: electronica, lo-Fi, IDM, glitch-pop
Others: Sigur Ros, Emilie Simon, Leif Eriksson, Bjork, Dntel

Müm is the rolling stone that still seems to gather all kinds of fuzzy moss </metaphor>. Since the release of Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today is OK back in 1999, the young Icelanders have been touring and recording non-stop. After saying goodbye to Gyða last year, Müm seems to be evolving into more of a live band than the mostly electronic group that they once were. With the addition of a drum set and a trumpet, the live show and sound in general have become increasingly organic, leaving the splintered electronics of Yesterday far behind.

Consequently, pressing play on Summer Make Good may freak out the die-hard Müm fan at first. The first song, "Hü Hviss," along with the 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th sound more ambient and moody than most of the stuff you may have heard in the past. Comprising nearly half the album, these tracks set a different standard for the album: they're less produced, yet more planned out than on their previous two releases. They scream Iceland. Por ejemplo, the first track sounds like samples from a ship floating in a harbor (an Icelandic one, no doubt) on a rainy, windy, and Icelandic night. Others include samples of waves crashing, more stormy weather, soft voices, ship bells, and even banjos for sitting on your Icelandic porch. Although I think these tracks are fun and fit the album well, I reckon a lot of people might deem them as filler and thus pine for more vocal and/or harder instrumental tracks.

The less ambient tracks on the album are somewhat more along the lines of tracks like "Green Grass of Tunnel" from Finally We Are No One or "The Ballad of the Broken Birdie Record" from Yesterday. The differences seem to be the answer to how the band is evolving. When I first saw Müm live a couple years ago, I was amazed at how much they were able to accomplish on stage without a laptop. I'm used to going to an electronic show and seeing the artist excessively head bop to a laptop screen. After seeing Müm defy this live standard, listening to their albums has been that much more exciting for me. This most definitely goes for Summer Make Good. The album in its entirety seems to be sounding much more like a live recording than something that was produced and cut up in the studio. Sure you hear samples that obviously aren't coming from conventional instruments, but I can still close my eyes and see a band playing most of these tracks. Considering the sound layering that goes on in an average track, Summer Make Good is an amazing accomplishment and a pleasure to listen to.

1. Hu HVLss-- a Ship
2. Weeping Rock, Rock
3. Nightly Cares
4. The Ghosts You Draw on My Back
5. Stir
6. Sing Me Out the Window
7. Islands of the Childrens Children
8. Away
9. Oh, How the Boat Drifts
10. Small Deaths Are the Saddest
11. Will the Summer Make Good for All Our Sins
12. Abandoned Ship Bells

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