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Mew: +-

Denmark’s genre-defying alternative band are back.

They could’ve gone in our art-rock column, could’ve gone in our post-rock column: the important thing is they’re here.

Led by vocalist Jonas Bjere, this Danish four-piece insinuate themselves into the spaces between numerous genres. They sound too indie for the pop audience, too pop for the indie crowd, and just a little too progressive for the lot of ’em. Their loss. As on 2009’s No More Stories…, they’re doing something unique on this elegantly produced, sparklingly imaginative work – rending catchiness from oblique, unconventional melodies and Bjere’s high voice. For all its synth-sweetness, single Satellites uses a very prog melodic volte-face to get out of its four-on-the-floor verse and into its near-neo chorus, with an AOR guitar chug back into the verse, and more thrills to come. Whether at full pelt (Witness, My Complications) or at more contemplative tempos (Making Friends, Walking Slides) Mew evince a genial, winning sense of Nordic otherness. In the 10-minute Rows or the valedictory Cross The River On Your Own, it’s as if the tropes of Western alt rock were being translated into another tongue, then translated back again. Mew’s is an alternative musical magic.