Fear of Men

Track Of The Day #839: Fear Of Men – ‘Island’

Fear Of Men have quietly become one of the UK’s best contemporary indie bands.  Not just quietly in the way they’ve slowly built up a fanbase through a low-key word-of-mouth hype from their yesteryear debut album, but in the way their hushed, introspective take on dream-pop doesn’t call attention to itself.  Loom was a beguiling mix of soft guitars and singer Jess Weiss’ soft, plain-sung vocals, a mix of Camera Obscura’s twee-leaning delicateness and shoe-gaze purism of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

‘Island’ is the lead single from new album Fall Forever, and on first impressions, it’s more of the same from the Brighton quartet. Backmasked vocals give way to a paean of isolation, with gauzy squalls of feedback and rolling drums that conjure The Twilight Sad.  But lyrically, it’s more striking than anything from Loom: Weiss sings with the stillness of Karen Carpenter, detaching herself from those around her.  If lines like “I don’t need your arms around me,” sound cold, the bed of warm chords suggest a protecting layer of self-pity.  There’s a stronger sense of melodicism present too, with Weiss’ effortless ad-libs wrapping around a mutedly searing guitar line. ‘Island’ is a solitude anthem, turned up only half-way, pulling itself into focus through its subtle charms.

 

Photo credit:  Eleanor Hardwick

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.