Published August 1, 2012
Dedicated múm fans can reach for their wallets with the release of their compilation ‘Early Birds,’ a fifteen track retrospective comprised entirely of B-sides and previously unreleased work dating from the band’s early period, between 1998 and 2000. múm was formed in 1997 by Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þ. Smárasson and they were later joined by twins, Kristín and Gyða Valtýsdóttir. ‘Early Birds’ is a tribute to these early years and the work—raw and varied in nature—that they begat.
Though there is a very definite melodic thread running through the music on ‘Early Birds’, the compilation is a varied one; evidence of the depth of the band’s varied interests as they were starting out. It begins on a vibrant and upbeat note, and retains that eclectic, bubbly sound throughout. The later pieces move into more familiar territory with the slow, emotive sound that múm became known for. There is a decided progression throughout the album, with the peppiness of the start comfortably ironed out into the more sweeping depth of the later tracks.
The playful attitude of a band that was in its early years willing to try anything once makes ‘Early Birds’ definitely worth a listen.