Album Cover
Summer Make Good
Fat Cat
May 04, 2004


Múm, like all Icelanders, as I see it, have the power to make wonderful music in whatever genre they decide to delve into. There's only, what, 20 people on that tiny island, right? -- Only artisans capable of producing powerful music of greatness can see through the Iceland/Greenland trap anyway.

Exaggeration, my one true friend. Nevertheless, Múm, even more so than their all too often (and unrightfully) compared fellow homelanders, Sigur Rós, have done so well in creating a sound that is not only theirs, but, in some ways, completely new. An electronica build around simplicity with power. A sound liken to later-Aphex Twin, Lali Puna, Ladytron, yet still completely different; happier, stronger, smother, respectively. Give Kermit the Frog some LSD, a keyboard, and a mixer, and you might come up with something like this. That, or a dead puppet. Anyway, the best example of this can be found in their debut, Yesterday Was Dramatic – Today Is OK, where they pulled out the heavy guns and go all out in a swirling array of layer upon layer of every possible non-organic sound you could possibly imagine. Even the Icelandic and/or English vocals of "the Balled of the Broken Birdie Records" sound strangely processed beyond normality. Then, with the coming of Finally We Are No One this sense of childish curiosity erupts over the smother, more organic mellow beats slipping through the grasps of childhood, proving itself to be similar to their original sound, but again, new and different.

But now, two years later and with the coming of Summer Make Good, it's almost as though Múm has lost sight of their aim. Taking Finally We Are No One one step further, it's as though the music has regressed to a time before childhood--the inner sounds of the womb for the developing ears of the uncertain fetus trying to understand the world based on sound and vibration alone. From incredibly dense, "Weeping Rock, Rock", to light and airy, "the Island of Children's Children", it covers some different bases, all while feeling slightly offset to the back of your mind. Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir's heavily accented vocals blended nicely with the few tracks it graced in the previous two releases and is again featured here in corpus amounts, sometimes becoming irritating due to the raspy childish nature it embodies. And, like in all their releases, Summer also has the minimal anti-climatic filler tracks, but unlike the rest, they're more filling. "Hú Hviss – a Ship", "Stir", "Away", and "Small Deaths Are the Saddest" all meander along with no purpose and hold little to keep a daydreamer's attention.

Far more ambitious than anything previously attempted, Summer Make Good basically melts away into unmemorable tunes and a lackluster whole. If it can be used as a sign for the future, though, I see promise in their efforts. The calm before the storm. A preview. A full length EP. They'll be back. Múm will prove to the world that Iceland is, in fact, the greatest nation in the world. Even if they don't have trees.

Zeff Svoboda

Track List

  1. Hú Hviss - 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. The Island of Children's 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