REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Fiancé's Debut EP1 Wets Our Appetite For Their Experimental Pop Future

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Fiancé formed in January 2013 in Newark, Delaware, and completed their line-up in the summer of the same year with drummer. The group continued with a vague intention to make music that they enjoyed and hoped others would enjoy too. Around a year and a half later Fiancé have their debut release EP1

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Fiancé's debut 'EP1'. Out 23/09 Fiancé's debut 'EP1'. Out 23/09[/caption]

The band’s ‘experimental pop’ genre title is accurate: their hazy beach, dream-like sound is beautiful and new. Vocals are echoed and cymbals muffle, the acoustics on the record have a tone of reality, as if recorded live or performed inside your headphones.

EP1, the band’s debut, was recorded with quarter-inch tape, on a Tascam 388 Tape Machine. I know little about recording music, but the effect generated by this technique really does show the band’s experimental drive. They reject the clean crispness of digital recordings and explore sound in the spaces available to them, rehearsing, writing and recording tracks in their house, exploiting the effect that the space creates.

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Fiancé Fiancé[/caption]

The music is beautiful, relaxing and melancholic. A personal favourite is the middle track, "Climb The Stairs", in which the tone of the album turns to something more sympathetic. Brian Bruce’s misty drums turn into more obscure percussions, tinkling and dinging of bells contrasting to the gliding synth-esque melodies running underneath Andrew Fusca’s foggy vocals. The addition of female vocals parallel to Fusca’s in the last 30 seconds is genius, the song has journey and is slightly lifted out of melancholy.

The already released "Era" is a testament to their new sound, a good opener to the record. Tyler Yoder’s driving bass chugs along that lazy-days vibe that takes a poppy chord progression and turns it into something more mystifying. It’s no wonder that Zane Lowe recently chose it as his Next Hype Track of the Week for Radio 1.

The music on this record is excellent. It is clear however, that the group are still developing their sound. By the beginning of the fourth track I began to lose concentration – I’m not saying that to fully enjoy music we must focus ourselves into it completely, but I felt that after a few tracks I became swamped by the mistiness of the sound.

The vocals become too echoed and the percussion too fuzzy. I found myself wanting a musical fog light to pull me back into the enjoyment of this dream-emo sound the band have produced. In that respect I look forward to seeing what the band churn out next. They’ve already set to work on the full-length album follow up to EP1, and are performing a celebratory UK release gig in KOKO on the 10th October; an event that I’m sure will be amazing. I can only imagine how well this band comes across live.

All in all, EP1 is a brilliant start for Fiancé, guitarist Jeff says: “If our songs can impact other people in a positive way, then that’s great. But our true goals are more selfish than that.” And to me that seems the best reason to make music. By creating music to their own taste they’ve managed to achieve something new and beautiful. Fiancé are establishing themselves as a very talented group and this record is one not to miss.




‘EP1’ is out on SQE Music on 23rd September.

Written by Graeme du Plessis