The Mumlers: Just In Time For Halloween

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The Mumlers' new album, Don't Throw Me Away, defies simple categorization. The band's brooding, minor-key songs, led by "Raise the Blinds," suggest a New Orleans-style jazz funeral, with pit stops in the American folk tradition and Southern Gothic music.

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Raise the Blinds"
  • Artist: The Mumlers
  • CD: Don't Throw Me Away
  • Genre: Folk-Rock
The Mumlers i

In "Raise the Blinds," The Mumlers' members craft midnight noises for lonely and despondent souls. Mario Guel hide caption

toggle caption Mario Guel
The Mumlers

In "Raise the Blinds," The Mumlers' members craft midnight noises for lonely and despondent souls.

Mario Guel

Unsurprisingly, Mumlers singer Will Sprott owes a debt to Tom Waits. Sure, he's a talky tenor with a slightly greater range, but Sprott's bedraggled wail operates from a similar plane of anguished, tortured souls. (For a band that took its name from 19th-century spirit photographer William Mumler, it's got that plane down pat.)

It helps that The Mumlers' members are shameless analog fetishists at heart: "Raise the Blinds," like most of Don't Throw Me Away, lionizes the organic. After a fluid, lurching buildup, Sprott's lament is punctuated with mournful horn squalls. By the song's midsection, ghostly background vocals have broken up the grind. Ultimately, "Raise the Blinds" is essential Halloween music, which underlines The Mumlers' penchant for crafting midnight noises for lonely and despondent souls.

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