Mew is a band from Denmark that makes Indie Pop most of the time (in other cases, their music is...less definable). After releasing their first 2 albums on indie labels strictly in their home country, Mew were signed by Epic Records in 2003, which handled the distribution of all their subsequent records worldwide.
Tired of bland imported pop in the early 90's and "the lack of a truly alternative scene in Denmark", they decided to help form one. Determined to not make predictable songs, Mew tried their best to make each song as different and interesting as possible (though still rooted in guitar rock for the most part). This is a tradition they carry on to this day.
The lineup consists of Jonas Bjerre (lead vocals), Bo Madsen (guitar), Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen (drums) and Johan Wohlert (bass). In 2006 the bassist left the band to spend more time with his family, and the band was a 3-piece until summer 2014, when they confirmed he was back on board. In the summer of 2015, Bo left the band for for the first time since its creation, although not necessarily forever. Until he returns, Mads Wegner will be playing with the trio on live shows.
- A Triumph for Man (1997) (later re-issued with a bonus CD)
- Half the World is Watching Me (2000) (same as above)
- Frengers (2003)
- And the Glass Handed Kites (2005)
- No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry They Washed Away // No More Stories, The World Is Grey, I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away (2009)
- + - (2015)
- Visuals (2017)
The band provides examples of the following:
- Awesome McCoolname: Their drummer Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen. Seriously.
- Back to Front: "Cartoons and Macramé Wounds" attempts to subvert the expected song structure by beginning with a huge climax, and slowly dismantling the song from there. It still comes to a lovely crescendo near the end, however.
- "New Terrain" also plays with this, hiding an entire song within the backmasked instruments and vocals heard throughout. It's a bit disorienting to listen to in either direction.
- Bishōnen: Pretty much all of them, but the lead singer◊ qualifies especially.
- Broken Record: "The Zookeeper's Boy".
- B-Side: Of the many singles the band has released, most are very tough to find and afford once you find them.
- Concept Album: And the Glass Handed Kites is centered around the theme of fear and nightmares.
- "Apocalypso" from the same album is reportedly about the fear of death.
- Double-Meaning Title: And The Glass Handed Kites, depending on how you interpret it.
- Downer Ending: "Louise Louisa" may well be the Despair Event Horizon in musical form.
- Dramatic Wind: Their performance of "Snow Brigade" at the 2003 Danish Music Awards. It's in playback (for obvious reasons), but awesome.
- Epic Rocking: "Cross the River on Your Own" lasts 7:28.
- "Comforting Sounds" is almost 9 minutes long.
- "Rows" tops out at nearly 11.
- And then there's And the Glass Handed Kites, at least if you buy into the band's description of the album as a single, continuous song.
- Face on the Cover: Sort of; the artwork for + - features the band members incarnated as caricatured, anthropomorphic eggshells, something of which has been apart of the band's art theme since No More Stories, and is lampshaded by the title of their Greatest Hits Album, Eggs Are Funny.
- And the Glass Handed Kites shows the actual band members' faces, but they're all garishly crashing into one another and shattering.
- The cover for Visuals has Jonas Bjerre's face covered covered up by a kaleidescope light.
- Fading into the Next Song: The transition from "Special" to "The Zookeeper's Boy" on And the Glass Handed Kites is so close that it's near impossible to immediately notice when one song ends and the other begins.
- Most of Kites is like this, in fact. The album could be seen as a continuous, extremely long song, though there is a rather long breather between "White Lips Kissed" and the final track "Louise Louisa".
- Hidden Track: As mentioned in Back to Front, the entirety of "New Terrain" is a whole other track when played backwards. It's officially titled "Nervous".
- Indecipherable Lyrics: Sometimes. The lyrics are usually clear enough, but you're bound to find parts of their songs where it's quite hard to understand what's being sung.
- Lucky Charms Title: + -
- Lyrical Dissonance: "156" seems to be sung by a stalker and has some slightly unsettling lines, but the song itself is very calm. "Hawaii" has a very cheerful tune but the lyrics are quite sad.
- Lyrical Shoehorn: "Satellites"I wanna breathe in a sunlight beam
I wanna be with a girl like she
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Like most indie pop, 1-3. Spots on Kites and +/- dip as far as 6, but for the most part the band stays south of there.
- Obsession Song: "156", and possibly "Snow Brigade" and "Special".
- Overly Long Title: Their fifth album's title, often shortened to No More Stories....
- Humorously inverted by + -.
- Rearrange the Song: Frengers was their first international release and the sessions for it produced 50% new material and 50% rearranged songs from their first two albums.
- Running Gag: A minor one, overly long fade-outs (or lack thereof). Most apparent on City Voices and White Lips Kissed, with a piano chord held down, allowed to fade naturally (for anywhere between 10 and 20 seconds).
- Savage Wolves: The dark and dissonant instrumental "Circuitry of the Wolf" seems to be about this.
- Scatting: No Shadow Kick. What the song has to do with shadows, or kicking for that matter, is unclear.
- A "No Shadow Kick" is a martial arts technique. The gibberish in the song sounds vaguely like Chinese, so the band probably chose that title hoping someone would get the humor behind it.
- Surreal Music Video: Most of their videos qualify in some way.
- Visuals takes a kaleidoscope theme that ramps up the surrealness.
- Translated Cover Version: They did a version of their own "White Lips Kissed", in Japanese!.
- Title Track: Played with on their fifth album; "Hawaii Dream" is not the name of the album, but its lyrics are. This also makes the entire song one big Title Drop.
- Uncommon Time:
- "Am I Wry? No" has an ending in 13/4.
- "156" has a refrain in 13/4.
- "Hawaii" has 11/4 choruses.
- "Vaccine" has an 11/4 ending.
- "Repeaterbeater" has choruses in 22/4.
- "Intermezzo 2" includes 10/4.
- "Sometimes Life Isn't Easy" is all over the place.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Their songs have pretty abstract and random lyrics. Word of God says this is intentional, as they think straightforward lyrics would be less interesting.