As "Toothwheels" begins with a (relatively) hard dance beat and the video flickers with ghostly, strobing visuals, one instantly begins to think, "What the hell happened to the adorable múm that loved to frolick in nature and sing childish songs for adults?" It seems that they have shed a bit of their sunshine since their 2009 days of Sing Along to Songs You Don't Know, and their newest record, Smilewound, seems to be a darker and sparser record -- though certainly not lacking in the band's signature use of bizarre percussive sounds, bells, or string arrangements.

 

Haiku Salut Tricolore How Does It Feel To Be Loved? (2013)Unless you closely follow the little known -- but still robust -- musical sub-genre of folktronica, Haiku Salut's Tricolore will likely be unlike anything you've heard before. In their full-length debut, Haiku Salut -- made up of musicians Gemma Barkerwood, Sophie Barkerwood, and Louise Croft -- explores the genre and their place in it, and in doing so, presents us with both an exciting and playful plethora of sounds and a feeling of potential. The band's major influences, including Yann Tiersen, Amestub, and early Múm, are prevalent throughout Tricolore, as the purely instrumental album engages various sounds and multicultural elements. Each track features layers upon layers of instrumental dynamism: light and playful piano parts, rhythmic and precise guitar and ukulele fingerpicking, dense accordion arrangements, and the occasional energetic percussion. These various parts ebb and flow across the album, sometimes peaking, sometimes falling, and always working together to give the songs momentum and intrigue.
 

"Since most art dealing with consumerism seems too matter-of-fact, I want my work to be allegorical, being humorous and visually interesting but imparting a deeper message. Why the hell do we need all this stuff, anyways?"...