Space rock. Let’s talk about it. Pioneered in the 60s, popularized in the 70s, and still kicking to this day, this is a rock subgenre that branched off of another subgenre, psychedelic rock. I’m not pretending to be an expert; this is just the basic history brought to you from me, which is actually more like to me from Google, from me to you. Now that that’s covered, I’d like to tell you about an album that dominated my Spotify and YouTube playlists for most of January.

mew

Frengers was the first commercial success that Danish indie band Mew saw, back in 2003. But if I’m calling them indie now, what’s with A Brief History of Space Rock back up top? Well, space rock is a genre that relies on slow and lengthy instrumentals that are then dominated by electric elements: electric organs, synthesizers, and experimental guitar work. (Technically a feature is also sci-fi or space themed lyrics, but I’m focusing on the musical structure.) That is Mew, to a ‘T’. Honestly, several of the instrumental passages on this album make me think of Christmas because of their light use of bells, and that’s coupled with some electronic elements that are just out of this world (bolded to get the obnoxious pun across).

So, the music is cool, I hear you saying. But is that all Mew has going for them? I’m happy to say it’s not. Mew isn’t another rock band that’s -badly- trying to insight its fans to anger, or revolution. No.

Mew writes love songs.

Basically. Not exclusively, but Frengers is full of them. Admittedly, as beautiful as they are, some of them are a bit, uh, questionable. Paired with memorable melodies are lyrics like, “In winter you’re an affliction/ That repeatedly defeated me,” that then lead listeners into a chorus like, “I’ll find you somewhere/ Show you how much I care/ Know that there is no escape/ from my snow brigade.” The piano beneath the drums and guitar in this particular song just send this piece of music into a different playing field that a lot of generic rock bands can’t compete with. Listen here if it sounds like something you’re interested in. It’s four minutes you (probably) won’t regret on YouTube.

In the midst of Frengers are other bits of lyrical and poetic genius that most people can probably enjoy, even apart from the love songs. 156, one of the most chilling songs on the album ~in my opinion~, features this relatable bit; “In a big, big way/ I am really small/ I get off my feet/ But I’m still distant”. I feel that, Mew. If you do too, it can be found here.

All in all, the entirety of Frengers is a masterpiece. It feels like music you listen to in the winter (I concede that the strong motif of snow could also have something to do with this), and what else do any of us have to do?

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Frengers

  1. I am curious to know how you find these different bands. After listening to a few of their songs, I realized that their sound wasn’t what I was expecting them to sound like but I’m really glad for that. I can see where you’re coming from with the snow vibe. It definitely feels like staying inside and watching the world out the window music. I would agree with you that now it is really indie, I haven’t heard another group exactly like them but there is an indie feel to the rhythms that they have. Thank you for sharing them!

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  2. I thought I knew vaguely what to expect when I read “space rock”, but I guess I was wrong. The song didn’t sound like I thought it would, but it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise.

    I’m gonna be honest, I wasn’t as big of a fan with this song as I was with “Dizzy on the Comedown” by Turnover (I still liked it though!). One thing I find fascinating about the indie genre is how diverse it can be. Both the artists you shared can fall under the same umbrella category, but they sound so different. I can’t wait to see what other music you recommend (indie or not)!

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  3. I think you just introduced me to my next musical phase! I absolutely love their sound! I’m with Catherine here, I need to know how you find these bands? I like that you talk about specific lyrics in your post as well as supplying links (though I don’t know if it’s just my computer, but the links do not work, they just take me to your page on Music). Mew sounds like the kind of band that gets picked up by films for their soundtracks, for example, I could imagine them on the soundtrack of an indie film like ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’. You have an awesome taste in music and I can’t wait for your next post!

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    1. Hey Alex! Thanks for letting me know about the trouble with the links; I went and checked, and I updated them, so they should work now. But I so agree with the idea that Mew could be the kind of band on a soundtrack, and definitely on something like PoBaW! If you and Catherine are both curious, I think I’ll dedicate a post to my musical sources? Seems like the thing to do.

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