Fear Of Men - Loom

Fear Of Men - Loom
Album Reviews

The inevitability and necessity of things falling apart permeates the record.

Label: Kanine Records
Released: 21st April 2014
Reviewer: Danny Wright
Rating: rating: 4
This may be Fear of Men’s debut album but we’ve had fair warning of their subtle and mesmerising charms: formed in 2010 there was a steady flow of singles that led up to last year’s 'Early Fragments' EP, which brought together a beautiful collection of light and dark pop songs.

And here, on 'Loom' – which features 'Seer' and 'Green Sea' from that release – those elements of light and dark are harmonised once again. Apparently this record was often recorded through the night and that makes a lot of sense: there’s a feeling of the curtains being drawn and tales revealed and that dream-like state in-between awake and sleep feeling to it.

What you first notice about Fear of Men is Jessica Weiss’ voice. There’s an intimacy to it: it’s the type of soft and beguiling vocal that could be telling you secrets and here the deeply personal and literate lyrics read like a diary entry; stories of a relationship falling apart; a looming feeling of dread, if you will.

So although sonically the songs here are the sound of floating through clouds there are heavier, darker ones that weigh the album down, giving it a claustrophobic feel. There are those contrasts again: the dense feeling of disconnection mixed with the sparse and subtle touches that the band brings.

It begins with the 51-second 'Alta' with Weiss "Wishing for something else" and ends with her wistfully remarking over an effortless acoustic strum during the similarly-named 'Atla' that "You don’t disgust me anymore". There’s also the realisation to this lullaby: "But if you never leave me I’ll never understand you / cos I’ll never know what I could have been without you".

In between it’s the inevitability and necessity of things falling apart that permeates the record. There are chiming guitars and cooing backing vocals to tales of heartbreak: elements congealing and creating intoxicatingly sparse but gorgeous soundscapes that morph into something bigger.

Some of it seems too slight and gets lost in the background but it’s the run of three songs towards the end of the record, all kinetic and muscle bound, that do most to grab the attention: ‘Luna’'s rolling drum dreamscape talks of ‘unbearable memories’ while ‘Descent’s’ soaring chorus and naggingly infectious guitars are delectable enough but it’s The Breeders-esque ‘Inside’ with heavenly melodies which builds up to two minutes of rolling crashing drums and cooing "ohhh"s which is the centrepiece of the record.

With 'Loom', Fear of Men have created something more than mere fragments; a record which could engulf you if you give it chance; where sounds and textures merge together to create a beautifully bleak story.
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