It took all about a minute and half of listening to the first song on Dives Like A Fool, Swims Like The Dead by Former Friends of Young Americans to know this record was something that I was really going to enjoy. The music on the album will be enjoyed by people who enjoyed most of Creation Records catalogue like Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Ride as well as contemporary acts like Broken Social Scene and Peter Bjorn and John.
The songs are lush, have excellent arrangements full of intricate percussion, atmospheric guitars, electronic elements and more. Most of the music is impressive throughout but the interplay and chemistry between the male and female harmonies is what brings these songs to the next level.
The album opens with arguably the best track on the album called “Sea & The Land,” which feels like a warm pillow in the sky. It just floats throughout the duration as most of the instruments are covered in reverb while the repetitive vocal melody becomes catchier each time you hear it. The combination of what sounds like a flute, subtle yet busy electronics and percussion and clean guitar is a winning collaboration. I didn't think I could enjoy the song more until the horns were introduced.
They follow a similar vibe with the second song “Before They Died.” Although the song has a progressive energy as opposed to the first song that felt like a content cloud of sounds. Additionally, they rock for a bit and decide to give distortion a try if only for a short while.
One of the softest and most ethereal songs on the album is “Comfort Food,” which takes an acoustic guitar and combines it with background vocals that are drenched in a hall reverb. The lead vocal line is just as tender when they sing “Show me your heart / The one on display that I never knew / I'll tear it apart.”
The band expand their palette with more electronic elements on “Moirae” while “Faith-Based Fear” utilizes different samples of people speaking and manipulates them. They end with a short but upbeat number called “Love Hope Doubt” which was a great way to end the album considering there are an ample amount of melancholy moments.
There isn't much to complain about here. While a couple of the later tracks weren't as viscerally engaging as the first couple of songs this album has a lot going for it. It’s accessible yet experimental and its heart has songs that will resonate with you long after hearing them.
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