Mew’s new full-length release, Visuals, due out on April 28 via Play It Again Sam, features everything fans have come to love about the Danish trio (Jonas Bjerre – vocals, Johan Wohlert – bass, Silas Utke Graae Jorgensen – drums). Sweeping compositions that are labyrinthine yet exquisitely effortless, comprise the 11-track album as intoxicating melodies and expressive lyrics discover light among the darkness of modern life.
The opening song, “Nothingness and No Regrets,” is optimistic in tone, airy and light as the heavy task of reflecting dominates the poetic storytelling. The trace of 1980s New Wave throughout “The Wake of Your Life” continues to connect with a pop aesthetic as Bjerre sings, “And the story in her eyes/Was told a thousand times/You just never cared to listen.” “In A Better Place” continues to inspire with ideas of hope and happiness with Jorgensen’s powerful drum line serving as the foundation of the composition until the music softly fades away.
“Candy Pieces All Smeared Out” is one of the most striking tracks on the release as its march-like introduction seamlessly transitions into a graceful rock anthem conjuring images of the open road, sun on your face and wind in your hair. “I think it’s a nice juxtaposition the way the you can have musical parts that sound like they come from different places, but the way it flows just makes it quite an easy on the ear listening experience,” said Wohlert. (Read our full interview with Johan Wohlert here.)
“Twist Quest” is full of unconventional, spellbinding rhythms accentuated by punchy horns while “Learn Our Crystals” is utterly unique in its combination of sounds and layering. Lyrically, “Shoulders” is the most literal track on Visuals, although hidden meanings are revealed with each listen.
Visuals closes out with “Carry Me to Safety,” a subtle and subdued song of strength. “I just like how it twists and turns,” said Bjerre of the track in a statement. “It’s a reflection on life and being in a band, what it means to be in a band, dedicating so many years of your life to this thing.”
While, in the past, Mew has been known to take several years between albums, Visuals came quick on the heels of the group’s 2015 release +-. They seemed to capitalize on the enthusiasm and inspiration of touring while allowing years of songwriting experience to guide them to create the type of masterful – one-of-a-kind – music that continues to make fans fall in love with the group.