Mzm may be nice kids. But there's devilry in their detail.

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Yesterday Was Dramatic - Today Is OK


Yesterday Was Dramatic – Today Is OK

They’re from Iceland. The two girls are twins. The sleevenotes tell of friends riding bicycles and listening to gramophone records in a library. The press release describes them as “painfully ordinary”. They use accordion, melodica and clarinet in their footling electronica.

See, in a just world, Mzm would headline All Tomorrow’s Parties forever. For here is a band who are the musical and aesthetic quintessence of that scene, a bleeping, chattering, glitch-spattered mix of impossibly cute melodies and experimental cool. A [a]Belle & Sebastian[/a] with computers, who will, no doubt, whip winsome boys and girls into a similar, quiet, frenzy.

Thankfully, while Mzm‘s spiritual roots may lie in the whimsy of C86, they’ve supplanted the usual straight-up amateurism with a calculated, and more mature, desire to leaven and warp their sweet pop. ‘Awake On A Train’ spends several minutes twinkling like Bacharach, before interference breaks out like a virus. And much better it is for it too. A spoonful of medicine helps the sugar go down, and there’s a real, otherworldly beauty to the Plaid-ish likes of ‘Smell Memory’, basically harpsichord sizzling on a hotplate, and ‘Sunday Night Just Keeps On Rolling’, a choked-up, melancholy mix of warm, pastoral melodies, crunchy beats and static.

Mzm may be nice kids. But there’s devilry in their detail.