Somnambule - Writing About Music

Múm ~ Summer Make Good



Isobel Willetts

It’s rather beautiful and a bit unsettling and quite thought provoking and quite pleasing to the ear (in an otherworldly way) and once you get used to it it’s possible to listen to it without just being unsettled, but the question remains what is the subject and why is it being sung about like that? It makes you want to know more about it.

Dan Cartwright

Sounds like my old portasound organ. Melancholy, sentimental. Bass melody rather trite. Accordian, pleasant, some glitchy sounds indicate the percussion track is about to come in. Ugh, that little-girl voice, it's Múm isn't it? Music that sounds deliberately cute to my ears, really winds me up the wrong way - the singing is so affected. The pace and percussion seem to suggest a weight, the minor chord progressions a seriousness, that this music doesn't warrant.

Charlotte Conway

I really think the music’s nice, I liked it. I’m not a big fan of electronic music because it’s sometimes a bit soulless and the vocals were just awful, I mean. It’s just I think the vocals are nauseating. It’s just ugh. I need to word this better. Why do people think if they have a girly, breathy, foreign voice – it makes it sensual? It doesn’t. It’s kind of childish, just sounded dreadful. I winced.

Doug Watson

While reintroduction of the song form into popular electronics might've saved that genre from a cold glitch cul-de-sac, I often find myself wishing it weren't so predominantly melancholic. I agree that Spirit of Eden and Pygmalion are unassailable but come on, let's have some new influences. Electroacoustic pop represents a fusion that isn't so much the breaking of new ground than backfilling a circumscribed area-- and eventually that space just reaches full capacity. Even the overly-affected uber-pixie vox can't distinguish this from the row of similar releases by Morr Music and City Centre Offices.

Alice Hemming:

I really quite enjoyed it, thought it was a mellow track. The introduction sounded Moroccan to me, I could picture myself in a souk. Her voice sounded like an eastern European Cerys Matthews. I liked her vocals a lot. Chilling out music really. It did have a slightly eery quality to it.

Steve Norris:

I was just listening to this quite contendedly, thinking that it reminded me slightly of some of the early Air stuff, when the mildly disturbing vocal kicked in. Suddenly I started to feel uncomfortable. Whether this is because it sounds like a very young girl singing in a too adult way, or just that I couldn’t understand what she was singing I don’t know! Anyway other than that, a very pleasant track to chill to, but for me little else inspired. The vocal, however unsettling it may be, makes the track a whole lot more interesting though.

Limitations of the methodology:

With thanks to the participants

Colin Buttimer
May 2004
Published by Absorb