Minneapolis band Delilah Fang’s biography at first reads like an article from The Hard Times: local indie band’s plan to put out a single album and then break up is successful. The premise seems comical only until you hear the music because the personal, groovy and wistfully melodic songs Delilah Fang has put together for Lonely Once Too are frankly great.
The results are especially impressive when you consider the band existed for only a few months, in which they played a handful of shows and recorded the album in only two days, before lead singer/ songwriter Betty Taylor was set to depart for California. While the condition of its creation does give Lonely Once Too a certain flighty sound, that rush only adds an additional layer of excitement to a polished collection of compositions.
The production on Lonely Once Too strikes a good balance between live energy and methodical arrangement. The slow and gorgeous “Trespasser” expresses a feeling of vulnerability with a stripped down drum intro, delicate keyboards and cathartic noise guitars. The booming and rich bass line supplied by Lee Carter centers the more ephemeral elements wonderfully, allowing Taylor’s detached vocal to find some grounding.
Delilah Fang delivers an engaging song sequence throughout, striking a balance between energetic and danceable songs like opener “Goodbye” and the groovin’ “Imposter Syndrome” and slower cuts like the previously mentioned “Trespasser” and closing track “Plastic Champaign Flutes,” a stripped-down and sad tune that features harmonized vocals and songwriting in a similar style to Better Oblivion Community Center.
What Delilah Fang is, and what Lonely Once Too serves as a document of, is pure transience. However, while some projects of lesser quality or aspiration might use this context to justify certain innate inadequacies, Delilah Fang instead presents their fleeting nature as an example of creating art for the sake of it. And while some moments here do suffer from the time constraint (the title track comes off as underwritten) the project as a whole reaches a level of quality that makes me wish Delilah Fang was busy at work on a follow-up. And really, that’s the best compliment you can give a band that never indented to stick around in the first place.
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