October 2013 National Music Reviews

Review: Múm – Smilewound

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Múm
Smilewound
Morr Music
Street: 09.06
Múm = Chromatics + Múm’s Finally We Are No One
When I first turned on Smilewound by Múm, my stomach knotted up and I immediately got anxious and a little nervous for what was about to transpire. I fell in love with Múm one night back in 2004 when I first heard Finally We Are No One. There are subtle hints of Finally We Are No One intertwined through the first single off of Smilewound, “Toothwheels,” and just as they have grown and expanded their sound over the years, those subtle hints come and go throughout the entire album. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the voice of Gyða Valtýsdóttir in a few songs—she is one of the original members who has not been a part of the group in almost 10 years. You hear her quietly on “Underwater Snow,” and fully on “Slow Down,” and her voice immediately takes you back to We Have A Map of the Piano. Gyða’s voice complements the album, adding a bit of familiarity to it. Smilewound is deeper than I remember Múm being. It’s as if they have filled out the small cracks that have been visible over the years and they are finally finding a sound they are comfortable with. From the upbeat sounds that play through “Candlestick,” to the airy rings of “Time to Scream and Shout,” Smilewound is an all encompassing experience. Fans of Múm will appreciate the adventure and expansion of this album, however, it may take a few plays through for new fans to fully understand the ever awe inspiring magic that is Múm. –Karamea Puriri
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