Seven studio albums, two soundtracks, a live album and two remix albums into their career Mogwai can still surprise.
Their decision to create the score to Canal+ supernatural thriller series Les Revenants (meaning ‘Ghosts’) came a little out of leftfield, and even wrong-footed those that gave them the brief.
A quick background to Les Revenants: adapted from the eponymous Robin Campillo-directed 2004 film, the series unfolds in an isolated French mountain town, where the locals are troubled after children who were tragically killed in a bus crash appear to come back to life, unaware that they’d died. A wonderfully captured perennial sense of unease and limbo sustains throughout each episode, with dully lit scenes and a sparsely-set location adding to the atmosphere. “We were actually big fans of the director Fabrice Gobert’s film Simon Werner a disparu, which had a soundtrack by Sonic Youth,” comments Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite of their decision to take the project, “and we found the story for Les Revenants incredibly interesting.”
The band was approached on the basis of their phenomenal work for the Douglas Gordon documentary 'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait'. Much like on that Zidane soundtrack, the group have turned away again from their recognised path towards the fascinating new; their familiar layers on layers of textural guitar have been stripped away, allowing isolated piano and keys to wander with grip-like tension through the fourteen tracks.
There’s something intangibly Mogwai here still, but it’s been refracted through a fresh prism.