Icelandic experimental-pop collective múm have debuted a new 7-inch single, ‘Toothwheels,’ taken from their forthcoming album, Smilewound, out September 17 on Morr Music. The video for the single is a jigsaw collaboration between múm, Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson & Bruno Granato. Starting off with echoes of their millenium-era rhythms, flourishing strings and teeming arpeggios elevate the track and the lulling vocals disguise the songs fatalistic lyrics, evoking an eerie sense of immateriality.
Smilewound was recorded in the band’s studio, an old Baltic farmhouse, and on the kitchen table after dinner, among other places, and was produced by múm themselves. Formed in 1997 by original members Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárasoneing, the band has hosted a revolving door of players over the years, and sees the return of third founding member Gyða Valtýsdóttir on this new release.
Following their 2009 album, Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know, the band’s fourth effort shows the juxtaposing of two conflicting meanings, taking advantage of the energy created through the tension between both. Sparser in sound than many of its predecessors, it’s an airy, relaxed record. múm’s capability to build playful electronic sound-ornaments around simple melodies is in full bloom, and these days they know that trimming the ornamentation can strengthen the melody. It’s no wonder antipodean pop-princess Kylie Minogue wanted to collaborate with them on ‘Whistle,’ the main song in 2012 film Jack & Diane, and were hand-picked by Brian Eno to attend last years’s edition of Norway’s Punkt Festival.