MYMYMY – A Bilingual synthpop enigma
I was sligthly taken aback when I first heard about MYMYMY. Is that an Afrikaans or English name? They’re a Cape Town based synth-pop duo, and their recently released debut EP title, Ons S’n Is Beter, seems to answer my question. Then I listened to the tracks, and was taken aback all over again.
It’s somewhat familiar synth-pop. We’ve all heard synth-pop before. But then, “Gee jy om hoe dit begin? Eenvoudig, maar onverdun. Wat dink jy van die melodie?”
MYMYMY instantly starts confidently self-questioning. But answers in the chorus: “Dis net musiek.” And in my opinion, it’s this self-referential, meta-awareness that’s MYMYMY’s most defining characteristic.
Their synth-pop has familiar sounds and sits comfortably within genre expectations, but they manage to create a warm landscape that’s more alive than a lot of music out there. There’s often a strong dance element to their songs, but Everybody, for example, is slower and more introspective. And Kryger, for all it’s modernism (describing an Afrikaner-hipster with a daisy in his beard), has a pretty simplistic arrangement, and lacks the earworm hook that most bands would have in their lead single. There’s a strong suburban vibe to their lyrics, as opposed to the usual club/nightlife feel. The next track on the EP, on the other hand, is endlessly catchy, and pretty.
It’s the endless contradictions that fuels my interest in MYMYMY. They have an enigmatic quality that makes me hesitant to want to peer behind the curtain too much. I find myself not wanting to know too much about Conrad van Breda and Jana Oosthuizen – in case it gives away the trick, or spoils the illusion.
On the last track of the EP, the monotone drone of a second-person narrator (“Jy’t lankal opgegee met mans en meisies al is jy slim en effens hot”) describes a character, but the hypnotic synths driving in the background makes me wonder: Is this simply a narrative presented unconventionally, or are they trying to hypnotise the listener into believing certain things about themselves? OR, if you take a minute and drift even further: Is this track (Die Naweek), a meta-fictional reconstruction of the repetitive, live-for-the-dancefloor-every-Friday-night lifestyle it’s describing?
Who would’ve thought that a group called MYMYMY, and their (probably bedroom-studio) synth-pop EP Ons S’n Is Beter would be this thought-provoking? Job well done, I guess.
MYMYMY is a synth-pop duo from Cape Town. You can go like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, check out their Soundcloud and YouTube pages, buy their music on iTunes, or stream them wherever good music is streamed.
Floris sometimes writes things when he’s not watching movies or playing video games or editing videos or folk-rock singing/songwriting.