Fuzzy Lights – Twin Feathers
The Skinny:Scary. Get behind a sofa and listen to it. But cuddle afterwards.
The Review proper: Well, actually it’s not that scary. It’s more like introspection. Like a way old mirror that might offer a not-so-clear reflection. Or maybe the sensation you get when you look at yourself at the mirror for a long while and see all those wrinkles, nook and crannies in your face. And then move on to whatever you have to do that day.
A slow playing fiddle and an arpeggio play while an electronic noise whispers in the background. Sounds like a theremin, but with a ghostly feel to it, like a lonely ghost light in an empty theatre. So it starts.
The band is Fuzzy Lights and their music is overly dramatic, powerful and as far as it can be from whatever you hear on the radio. The songs are dense, the atmosphere (atmosfear?) is dense with dread and although the lead singers NEVER scream, you can feel their voices when they go quiet, like an aftertaste.
You get your loud moments, but for the most, thee songs are peaceful intervals. ‘The museum song’ is a sweet little (okay, 6 minutes) moment that shines amongst all the ominous moods and variations. A slice of proper Americana, if you will, that not only changes the mood, but also shows that this band can change the record when required.
The pairing of male and female voices adds more range too. Whereas the male voice (Xavier) goes from a dark, foreboding approach to reflective, the female voice (Rachel) is almost angelic (‘Shipwrecks’). Songs are not short, they are long journeys that can take some time to explode, but when they do, they do it with gusto (‘Fallen trees’, ‘Shipwrecks’). And these journeys that you can travel with Fuzzy lights are bittersweet.
On the sweet side there’s ‘Rituals’, the stone cold classic of the album, if you pressured me to choose one. And you’d REALLY have to pressure me. ‘Rituals’ is a very dreamy song, with a simple acoustic guitar riff accompanied with some atmospheric sounds (possibly an ebow, sounds delish), which, after simmering for a while, invite the theremin and the fiddle to the party. The song is like a windy day in autumn (or a lucid dream) and you’d have to listen to it with a good pair of earphones to get the whole picture.
Maybe as atmospheric but more on the “won’t keep your eyes dry for this one” is ‘Lucida’, stuck in the middle of the album and as sad as it is (mainly violin), it is a tender moment. There’s more sweet moments, but maybe you’d better listen to them yourself. Feel free to listen to this beautifully crafted album, as there’s a handy spotify link in the “links” section (or just press here if you’re tired of the ramblings of an old geezer).
Feels like a very introspective album. Like previously stated, there are moments where it’s full cacophony (the violin attack on ‘Fallen trees’, the explosive ‘Shipwrecks’ – brr!) but there’s very quiet moments, like a very gothic lullabies (‘Through water’) or a beast of a swansong (‘The sea and the heather’ – a sad and sweet goodbye) that can put you on one of those contemplative moods that we need to have from time to time.
Take a bow, Fuzzy Lights. You made the perfect autumn record.
About the author: And their label mates, Last Harbour can pull some of this tricks too…