The Brighton four-piece FUR have been floating on the periphery of the dreampop and indie music scene for a while now, and their eponymous debut EP continues what they’re known for in sound. Deeply influenced by the music of the 1950s and ’60s, the overall feeling of the album is slightly odd. The five tracks belong to a world we no longer occupy – a world of dance halls, doo-wop and teddy boys. As a result, the album feels drenched in nostalgia and dreaminess, bewitching with its uniqueness in a world of music so often reliant on production and technology.
The opening track, ‘All My Dreams’, begins with a sample of a high-sped record before William Murray’s vocals kick in. A poppy love song driven by a jangly selection of drums and strings. The juxtaposition of the positive feeling of the instruments combined with lyrics such as “You’ve been replaced by a sadness and shortness of breath” causes an almost chaotic element to come with the record.
The following track, ‘Angel Eyes’, is one of the oldest on the release. The lead single of the EP has the same familiar sound as most of their other work. The dreamy love song is a rapid blur of fast-paced guitars and saccharine vocals. The deeply romantic tribute is a happy-go-lucky tune that provides an undeniable boogie.
By ‘Where Did All The People Go?’, a rhythmic, finger-clicking track that reminds me of old feel-good songs from the likes of Buddy Holly, the sound of the high-pitched vocals on loop feels almost hypnotic. However, it also feels a little grating. There’s only so much nostalgic, jingly-jangly guitars that you can take in one hit. In this, FUR experience the dilemma of having an extraordinarily distinctive sound – the curse of feeling really rather samey by ten minutes into an EP. This samey feeling continues on ‘Him and Her’, a smooth love song with poignant lyrics. Lyrically the band are truly fantastic, with this ballad containing the lovely and oh-so-relatable final line “I know that one day you’ll be okay and I’ll have you”. These nostalgic themes seem to fit perfectly for a band from Brighton – none of the tracks on the EP would feel out of place playing on a speaker at the beach, perfectly ready to encapsulate your own personal memories alongside theirs.
The final track, ‘Love Song For No One’, is stylistically different and one that draws parallels to the Submarine soundtrack by Alex Turner. A hypnotic, acoustic tale of lost love, the song feels vast and extensive. Murray’s vocals, honey-like and beautiful, shine particularly on this one. The melancholia provides a nice contrast from the rest of the album, but more of these experiments with style and composition would not go amiss throughout the record. Due to its solitary nature it feels almost like an afterthought, which given its role as the most beautiful song vocally is a shame.
FUR’s eponymous debut was something I’d been personally been waiting for a while to hear, but I can’t help but be a little underwhelmed. Something about the record, while dreamy and nostalgic, feels altogether too-similar between tracks. The high-pitched vocals can become a little grating towards the end, but the uniqueness of their sound still stands out. The EP is a firm testament to their happy-go-lucky ’50s feel, but I’ll be interested to see how – and if – they manage to develop much further with their sound.