I’ve been dark for a few days. Got caught up with some weekend work, as well as a number of excellent shows, like Nine Inch Nails, Jesus & Mary Chain, Orbital, and Emma Ruth Rundle, so time has been in short supply. Of course, there will be posts on those artists in the near future.
But for today, I’m going to start with Danish indie rock act Mew, who curiously was the opener for NIN’s 2009 “Wave Goodbye” tour. In fact, that was my introduction to Mew, who I recall impressing the hell out of me. NIN’s recent Friday show at the Palladium reminded me of that performance, since both played that venue together way back when. So I guess there’s a sort of serendipity.
The track that I vividly, or I should say aurally, remember is “Comforting Sounds,” a nine minute epic closer of strolling melody that perfectly embodies its title. I also recall the humorously quirky video projections of an animal marching band, particularly the cat with the violin, keeping time with the song.
Since the days are feeling colder, and seemingly shorter, “Comforting Sounds” feels appropriately fitting for the winter mix. Lyrically, it’s a slightly pessimistic downer, wrapped in nostalgic meanderings. But musically, it’s a softly uplifting march of melancholia, sadness and optimism mixed in equal measure. And when I pair it with the aforementioned image of the feline violist, there’s a certain tongue-in-cheek quality that makes it all okay.
“Comforting Sounds” comes from the acclaimed 2003 album “Frengers,” the title of which refers to a person who is “not quite a friend, but not quite a stranger,” according to the liner notes. Essentially, a mix of the words friend and stranger. Not sure if that adds any context. But it is a curiosity. And it kinda sets a tone.
So on that thought, here’s Mew’s “Comforting Sounds” to warm your winter days …
“Comforting Sounds” from the 2003 album “Frengers.”
And here’s Mew performing “Comforting Sounds” at the El Rey last year, with aforementioned cat violinist featured. Thankfully, the same stage projections are still in play.
Mew perform “Comforting Sounds” @ the El Rey on 08.26.17.