Thickets & Stitches
Reviewing an album like Thickets & Stitches by San Jose group The Mumlers is a conundrum. The music feels traditional in every sense – the instrumentation, the lead singer’s voice, the track names. The unexpected use of brass is about the only thing I didn’t see coming.
In terms of contemporary acts, Iron & Wine comes to mind, for the music’s quality and tone and for its complete and utter agreeability. Only the most cold-hearted dead-in-the-ears music fan could dislike The Mumlers. For the most part, Thickets & Stitches is shoulder-shrug pop. Opinions are likely to be unnecessary.
Nonetheless, there are a few standout tracks. Ironically titled, “Hush” proves to be the album’s loudest, most urgent and best moment. It’s a welcome change of pace. “Untie My Knots” is an accordion dirge also worth a listen.
The Mumlers will play the Major, Minor Music Festival on Saturday in Davis. Maybe the live setting will make The Mumlers‘ lethargic folk-pop seem a little more alive.
– Zack Frederick