Yesterday Was Dramatic – Today Is OK

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

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.