Mew – “Count To Ten” (Stereogum Premiere)

Michael Nelson | March 17, 2016 - 1:00 pm

The awesome Danish psychedelic-prog-pop band Mew share their name with a character from the Pokémon universe. And Pokémon, as you’re surely aware, came to this world via Japan, first as an anime-esque retail product, then quickly expanding to include all sorts of narrative media (an animated TV series, movies, comic books), eventually becoming a commercial empire that now generates more revenue than the entirety of the world’s oil industry. In that respect, the Pokémon story is basically identical to the Transformers story, soooo … I guess (?) it makes sense (??) that Mew are contributing a new song to a forthcoming Transformers-related compilation album, titled Transformers Roll Out, which (and I’m quoting the press materials here):

…heralds the global pop-culture Transformers phenomenon, featuring a collection of hit original songs inspired by the Hasbro Transformers franchise from leading established and up-and-coming alternative, rock and alt-pop artists, morphing together to create an epic portfolio of hard-hitting tunes that truly embodies the soul of the Hasbro Transformers brand.

Huh. Well, OK, it’s like … see, the songs morph together, sorta like how Optimus Prime (RIP) morphs from a Freightliner FL86 cab-over-engine triple-axle semi into the supreme leader of a faction of sentient robot-warrior aliens who travel to Earth to defend the planet against a rival faction of sentient robot-warrior aliens. (Something like that? I dunno.)

ANYWAY, Mew are the greatest, so I’m stoked to hear new music from them regardless of its origins. And the band’s contribution to Transformers Roll Out is a ravishing diamond called “Count To Ten,” whose flawless joy-melancholy shimmer feels very much of a piece with the band’s wonderful 2015 album, +-. The new track doesn’t necessarily scream “inspired by the Hasbro Transformers franchise,” but tbh I wouldn’t actually be shocked if you told me the band did nothing but binge on old Transformers cartoons for a hundred hours straight before writing this one. Mew seem like total weirdos! Also, look, I’m not too proud to admit that I watched the whole run of Robotech: The New Generation on my iPhone over the course of maybe a week not too long ago — and I wasn’t being commissioned to write a song about it or anything like that — so who am I to talk? And why the hell are you listening to me talk anyway? Man, just listen to the music.

Transformers Roll Out is out 4/15 via Hasbro Studios and Sony Music RED Associated Labels (RAL). You can pre-order it here, or at Spotify, or at iTunes. Here’s the tracklist:

01 Mount Holly – “Roll Out”
02 Bush – “This House is on Fire”
03 Crash Kings – “Gigantik”
04 MEW – “Count to Ten”
05 Elle Rae – “Into the Fire”
06 SPURS – “Exiled”
07 Jameson Burt – “Just a Spark”
08 Ours – “Stronger”
09 Darby™ – “Modern Man”
10 Born Cages – “Our Revolution”

Tags: Mew