CollectionDX Network


Let me preface this by saying that I’m a big fan of Múm, who are a very experimental Icelandic group. I especially love their albums Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know and Summer Make Good. Some might think them too sparse or airy — or weird — but I find beauty in the simplicity of their songs. They’re also full of nuances, little details you only notice if you really take the time to get acquainted with their albums, allowing yourself to get fully absorbed by them. The trouble is that most people listen to them and decide that they don’t like them or they use them as background music for working or otherwise doing things where they can’t be an active listener.

The artists Múm are most compared to are Radiohead and Sigur Ros, but I actually prefer Múm. As for Kylie Minogue, well, I’m such a big fan that I have her logo from the album Fever tattooed on my left wrist. And yet I was nervous when I first heard about this collaboration, which was done for the “indie-lesbian-werewolf-flick”* entitled Jack & Diane. I suppose my anxiety might have been because I didn’t want to get my hopes up and be terribly disappointed by this track. But now I am happy to tell you that it’s nothing short of brilliant, one of the very best things either artist has ever done. (If I had to compare it to any of Kylie’s past work it would easily be the album Impossible Princess, which featured some fabulous electronica tracks. “Whistle” especially reminds me of the songs “Jump” and “Dreams,” Kylie songs that were very much ahead of their time.)

“Whistle” begins, like many Múm tracks, with the tiniest bit of electro-tinkering, but it’s only a matter of seconds before Kylie starts singing — softly, almost like a whisper — and haunting but beautiful strings are added to the mix. Gradually, gentle pitter-patter beats fade into the song not long before Kylie sings the chorus, part of which goes “and I believe a whistle at the rain, I’ll be friends with a girl again.” (I might be getting the first part wrong; I had to listen closely several times to make that out.) As the song progresses, the pitter-patter grows louder and piercing, somber strings are added to the mix, drowning out the strings that are already there. Eventually the pitter-patter reaches a climactic moment then stops. The song continues with similar rises and falls happening around Kylie’s precious vocals, which are arguably as haunting as the music. I especially love the inflection when she sings “but you know I’ll always believe in girls.” The way she sings the word “girls” somehow lifts the song from its melancholic state and gives it a sense of humor.

Ultimately, “Whistle” has this sort of fairy tale-esque quality about it. It is, perhaps, a fairy tale about losing in love then searching for it and, eventually, finding it again. But maybe you’ll extract another meaning from it. Like much of Múm’s music, it’s really left open to interpretation. All I know for sure is that it’s mesmerizing, gorgeous and glorious.


*description courtesy of

Tags: , ,

Written by


An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply




  • LONG:D: EP VOL. 1
    LONG:D: EP VOL. 1 Release Date:  11/24/15 Label:  Mirrorball Music LONG:D describe their sound on Facebook as such: "SF / Synthpop / ElectronicSoul / Babymakingmusic." I would tend to agree. LONG:D is a duo consisting of 한민세 (Producer, Synth, DJ) and 민샥 (Vocal, Keyboard). They describe their sound on Facebook as such: "SF / Synthpop […]
  • D.HOLIC:머피와 샐리 [Murphy and Sally]
    D.HOLIC:머피와 샐리 [Murphy and Sally] Release Date:  11/12/15 Label:  ℗ 2015 (주)에이치메이트 D.HOLIC provide perfect work out music with their contagious new single, "Murphy and Sally." D.Holic's latest single, "머피와 샐리 [Murphy and Sally]" opens with snappy percussion and what sounds like lasers going off in a sci-fi movie. The percussion only grows snappier as […]
  • LEE HONG KI: FM302
    LEE HONG KI: FM302 Release Date:  11/20/15 Label:  FNC Entertainment I was expecting an EP full of ballads after reading the description on Yes Asia but most of the songs are actually catchy pop tracks with only a couple of ballads in the mix. Following nine years in the band FTIsland, Lee Hong Ki is […]
    MONKEY BEATZ: KEEP GOING Release Date:  11/3/15 Label:  YDCT If you're itching for the new Limp Bizkit to come out, Monkey Beatz should make you very, very happy in the meantime. If you're itching for the new Limp Bizkit album to come out, well, it's apparently been delayed. But if you don't mind listening to […]
  • CHII (OF 4TE): "WHY DO I?"
    CHII (OF 4TE): "WHY DO I?" Release Date:  11/4/15 Label:  Happy Chii 4TE's Chii makes her solo debut with "WHY DO I?" and it's one of the hottest J-Pop songs in English that we've ever heard. Chii is a member of the recently formed J-Pop girl group 4TE, which I've been very impressed by so […]