The much-loved Danish group Mew is back with a long-awaited sixth studio album and a full complement of band members.
Mew formed just over twenty years ago in Copenhagen. The band’s 1997 debut album was critically acclaimed and formed the foundations of this four-piece’s career. Epic and eclectic alt rock, cushioning the frail falsetto of lead singer Jonas Bjerre’s vocals is what we’ve come to expect. Some might say there was a change in direction in 2009 for the band’s fifth album, which was notably the only album not recorded as a four-piece – long-term bassist Johan Wohlert left the band in 2006 – but now he’s back and the original line-up is reunited, together with Bo Madsen (guitar) and Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen (drums).
The new album + – (‘plus minus’), released on 27 April, sees a return to prog rock form, with some pop elements thrown in. From the outset, the opening tracks ‘Satellites’ and ‘Witness’ set the epic scale to high, before coming down to an almost funky Mew-type vibe a few tracks in on ‘Making Friends’. ‘Clinging to a Bad Dream’ builds, then ebs and flows with Bjerre’s whoozy vocals. Not surprisingly, all the tracks on the album are pretty substantial, with the longest (at almost eleven minutes) being ‘Rows’, with anthemic qualities and a chugging raucousness.
Collaborations on this album come in the form of New Zealand artist Kimbra (who provides vocals on ‘The Night Believer’ and also ‘Water Slides’) and Bloc Party’s guitarist Russell Lissack (who contributes to ‘My Complications’).
The band will be heading out on tour next month, and fans will get a first ‘live’ listen to the new songs in Amsterdam on 23 May when Mew illuminate the Oude Zaal at Melkweg (tickets available here). There is also a Brussels show on 15 May, though that is already uitverkocht!
+ – Released 27 April 2015:
Album available via iTunes
+ – Tracklist:
03. The Night Believer
04. Making Friends
05. Clinging To A Bad Dream
06. My Complications
07. Water Slides
08. Interview The Girls
10. Cross The River On Your Own