Múm is an absolutely entrancing
young quartet from Iceland
. They play IDM
music, with the emphasis on the experiences and perspectives of a child. Many times the atmosphere they create is one of an innocent
, hazy perception, like that of music from Boards of Canada
. Other times, the mood can grow darker, a reflection of the deep sadness
that can be visited upon children as well. Some of Múm's songs also have vocal accompaniment. They sing in both Icelandic
, simplistic but soulful
lyrics following the drifting thoughts of a child, sung delicately by the two twin female
members of the group, Gyða Valtýsdóttir and Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir. The other half of Múm is Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason and Gunnar Örn Tynes.
They sample a wide variety of instruments to create the intricate soundscapes that define their surreal world. Cellos, harps, violins, guitars, clacks and clangs, horns, the sounds of the breeze running past an isolated lighthouse. It is truly a wonderful thing to experience.
Their first release in the United States was "Yesterday was dramatic, Today is ok", in March of 2000. It defined their sound, introducing them to indie audiences around the world and bringing them to a great deal of popularity. In 2001 they produced a remix album of these tracks. Another remix album named "Please Smile my Noise Bleed" with three new tracks also came out in 2001 in Europe. Their latest work has been a twin release of a single album, one in which the vocals are in Icelandic called "Loksins erum við engin" (literally "Finally are we none," release only in Iceland), and the corresponding "Finally we are no one" around the world. The music on both these discs is the same, and it shows a movement towards more organic sounds from their previous balance towards electronica on other albums. I highly recommend you pick them up, the emotions and images they can summon up are absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to the new directions they'll take with great anticipation.