Freelove Fenner- Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner– (Fixture Records;2013)
For their first full-length studio album, Montreal’s Freelove Fenner serves up over a dozen carefully crafted tracks on Do Not Affect ABreezy Manner. The local musicians’ debut album displays a cool and relaxed vibe that sinks deep into the guitar lick and drum beat. Lead singer Caitlin Loney’s vocals are reminiscent of Metric’s Emily Haines, with its dreamy and introspective quality. On tracks like “All Things Break Through,” the reverb on the vocals are especially prominent, giving them an ethereal, dream-like texture. Short musical interludes like “Pilgrims Astray” are laced into the album between short, yet sharp tracks. On songs like “Shepherdess” and “Glad Beneficiary,” slick guitar riffs and deep basslines are embedded with meshed in synth sounds. The title song, definitely one of the album’s highlights, is a romantically relaxed two and a half minute instrumental interlude with several sets of ‘Ooohs’ serving as background vocals. Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner, which dropped earlier in November, is a dynamite debut effort by the Montreal trio.
Trial Track: “Dr.D”
The Flaming Lips- Peace Sword EP (Warner Bros.; 2013)
The Flaming Lips’ newest EP draws its name from a track that made its way onto the soundtrack for the 80’s sci-fi remake of Ender’s Game. As a result, the band threw together a few more tracks and birthed a 6-song, 36-minute EP. The EP kicks off with “Peace Sword,” beginning with symphonic, almost heavenly tones and branches out into what sounds like a kaleidoscope of laser beats.
“Is the Back At The End Good” is the softest song on the album. Simplistic piano keys start it off, eventually giving way to a more instrumentally heavy beat, elevating the song to psychedelic highs. “Think Like A Machine, Not A Boy” comes next as the heaviest song on the album; the hallucinogen inducing bass-heavy beats drown out guitar strings. “Wolf Children” is a bit more alternative rock sounding, but the awkward piano keys and involving tones keep the song from properly evolving. It’s a decent EP with a couple of good tracks, but there is definitely room for improvement leading up to the release of their next album.
Trial track: “Is the Back At The End Good”