There's nothing like being fashionably late and it seems that G&B are more fashionable than most when it comes to the Fearne album 'Songs on postcards'.
Being released a couple of years ago some of the songs have been staples of my soundcloud feed and get a mention in my live review of Alex and Nick at Chaplins but for some reason I never got round to actually doing a proper piece.
So let's put that right shall we?
At a time when most bands are putting out shorter EPs Fearne took the bold decision to go for a full album. Filling a full Cd with original material can leave the listener with a patchy or disjointed experience as the need to provide a volume overrides the quality of work available.
There are no such problems with this tome. the 11 songs ooze quality from start to finish and sit as comfortably as a fourteen year old cat on a plumped up cushion.
The first track out of the box, "Colour faded back to grey" sounds like your (slightly above) average plaintive break up song for the first few lines but then twists into the kind of lyrical dexterity that we find throughout the album. We're getting Tom Odell here but without the overbearing piano and singing a Morrissey song (in fact not like Tom Odell at all). Starting simply the track builds layers to give us more than we expect, which is kind of the feeling of the whole album.
Expecting another ballad? The second track is a master stroke with the listener expecting another quiet song but getting a slap in the face with a wet kipper and in the next instalment of the story Fearne give us their real world touch. Lets face it we've all had 'Flu like symptoms'. 'Sea of bills' sees a wonderfully upbeat way of pointing out the hideousness of growing up and dealing with all the DDs and the ageing process. Mmmm yeah thanks for that.
By the time we get to 'Master Craftsman' I'm realising that we have an album of songs that eschew pretentiousness. The watchword here is clarity as we get beautifully clear lyrics and a simple musical accompaniment that screams confidence in their work. There are simple everyday things that resonate like falling asleep to the formula 1 (easy to do enit?).
'Postcards' is probably my favourite on the track and in many places the collection reminds me of an upbeat 'Tumbleweed Connection'.
By the time we get to the final track "About her" we've almost been full circle as we have a simple start to the song, lyrical quality and almost an end to the story of the CD but some questions, possible for the next release?
I've got a test that I apply to all CDs I get given and it's called the 'Car test'.
Put simply if a CD gets to stay in the car for more than a month then it's a good one. If it ends up being stacked somewhere handy in the house then it's an also-ran.
Fearne are doing well at the moment - we're up to three weeks and counting. I've a feeling they might just stay there for a while.
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Fearne's Album Songs on Postcards is available here http://www.fearnemusic.co.uk/store
You can also find Fearne on their own site here http://www.fearnemusic.co.uk/
On soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/fearne
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fearnemusic