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Mew, you crazy Danish band

Filed under: Music — Thomas @ 4:29 pm

4:29 pm

Apparently, the first track off Mew‘s new album is called New Terrain, and when the song is played backwards, it’s an entirely different song called Nervous. Obviously this stretches the concept of ‘song’ a little, but both songs definitely have their own lyrics that you can somewhat make out.

Oh, you crazy Danish indie band! Your raised fist against my new music app will have to be dealt with somehow, but I don’t think I will add the concept of ‘this track is this section of audiofile, but played backwards’ just yet until I can find at least one more case of this kind of craziness!

For now, I will probably make do by reversing the file to a second flac file, and labelling it as an extra bonus track or something.

But still, awesome attempt from a brave band! Luckily I already had tickets for their fall show in Belgium, finally!


  1. Another example? Not quite, but almost: in classical music there are “table canon” duets where the two players play the same music, but with it placed on a table between them so they see it as upside down:


    So your program could add an option for “the second half of this track is just a duplicate of the first, but played (upside down and) backwards”.


    Comment by Jeff Kaufman — 2009-8-31 @ 8:00 pm

  2. Mew were supporting NIN when I went to see them, unfortunately I had the NIN.com special entrance tickets which was supposed to get you into the gig quickly. It seems that all 90% of the 20,000 people at the gig had these tickets, as I completely missed Mew due to standing in the queue for > 1 hour. They were meant to be pretty good though, and this is a pretty interesting idea.

    Comment by iain — 2009-8-31 @ 11:39 pm

  3. Mew are amazing live, I’ve seen them in the states a couple of times. How do you manage to play that song backwards? I’d love to hear it.

    Comment by Alex Launi — 2009-9-1 @ 2:16 am

  4. Frank Zappa has a song called “Ya Hozna”, for which the music was recorded normally in the studio, but the singing is comprised of samples from other Zappa songs, all used backwards.

    Comment by bert — 2009-9-2 @ 6:51 am

  5. Mogwai have a kind of easter egg at the end of the first track of their first album. There’s a few lines of backward speech (which you don’t really want to hear all that much because it turns out to be way beyond filthy, if memory serves)

    Is it worth having the concept of fragments of speech from the beginning or end of songs (including introductions as well as easter eggs) as something worth indexing? Is it worth having fragments from the middle of songs as things that are indexed or somehow called out?

    This concept (waypoints?(*)) might also be useful for things like radio sessions + interviews or live concert recordings (including long sections of banter or (successfully) filling time during equipment failures or fragments of songs that the band are sick of and don’t want to play) that don’t cleanly split into tracks.

    But maybe this is completely outside the scope of your project.

    * See also amarok bookmarks, though I think they can only currently support one per track.

    Comment by henshaw — 2009-9-6 @ 12:30 am

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