String Fiction is a duo from Australia comprised of Daniel Keating (vocals, guitar, drum machine) and Cassandra Scott (backing vocals, bass, keys) who are a work in progress. Their recent release Chapter Six isn’t competitive in terms of sound quality, production or songwriting against the best music has to offer today but instead offers a glimpse of potential.
Keating is considered the lead singer and I know this might be hard for him to swallow but his counterpart may have him beat. I don’t have much to work with here but the vocal performance Scott delivers on the third song “The Cycle” is superior to the performance Keating delivers on the first track. That being said, his vocals are improved on the fourth track.
Scott has a powerful Amy Wilson style voice that should be taken advantage of. Keating is sometimes off-key on the first track and fourth track and his delivery isn’t exactly always flattering. Some of it does have to do with subpar engineering but some of it doesn't. To his credit they do sound good when they bust out vocal harmonies.
The first song is entitled “Time Travellers,” which revolves around white noise from guitars and flaccid percussive elements. Keating sings, “It's the everything I wanted, Encased in Autumn months, Nostalgia by the garden swings, of our street cafe in France.“ At his best he sounds like a drunken version of Ian Curtis. The song tries to build energy but falls a bit short.
The second track “Cerebral Dream” is an instrumental track that feels like it’s building up to something but instead goes nowhere. The guitars are repetitive and the riff isn’t bad but the song sounds unfinished.
“The Cycle” not only contains the best vocal performance but also is the best written. It’s has a good structure and some notable parts. What the song lacked were any explosive moments that it was in need of. The closer “Everybody Sings” is the runner up. Keating delivers a better vocal performance on this track than on “Time Travellers” and the high point comes when they combine vocals and sing, “We’re going home.”
I think this group has talent but have some work ahead of them if they are going to take this music thing seriously. I have hope for Keating as a singer. He definitely needs to practice but occasionally I heard some inspired moments during certain lines. Two of the songs showed they had some skills as songwriters but still felt empty in a number of ways. Overall, String Fiction is case of wait and see. It’s that simple.
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