Non-Airable Tracks: #1 (Chalk It Up), #5 (Shineback)
Albatross, released September 27, 2018, is the latest release from Seattle-based quartet Farenheist. The group formed in 2016 while at Vassar College in New York, and since they have been expanding their reach as artists and exploring their sound.
Overall, this record has a very upbeat, poppy vibe to it. The group tackles some near-universal themes commonly attached to young adulthood such as transition, loss, feeling a lack of stability and grounding, and the hardships that come along with this, yet with a very optimistic and almost cheerful attitude. Musically, it’s very bright and fast-paced, with a shimmery, jangly, almost twee feel at some points. There is a feeling of cohesiveness among this group in that I didn’t feel like there was much of anything overpowering or out of place throughout.
On the flip side of this, I feel that this can be something to expand on and perhaps move past in later releases. While this was an overall enjoyable, nice release, I don’t really find myself having a strong opinion on anything beyond that. I’m not saying that this was a bad album by any means, it’s pretty solid. Personally, it felt a bit restrained, blurry, and didn’t strike me with that “it” factor that makes me want to really dive in and keep coming back to explore the work. Some of the moments on the album where they really reach for a more raw, out there, less polished quality (I’m not entirely sure what I’m going for here or if I’m getting my point across well, but hopefully you get what I mean – when there’s a certain magnetism or presence in an artists’s work that really draws you in and engages with you) are the highlights of the album. Bits throughout where the expressiveness of the lead vocalist, extended, almost jammy instrumental breaks, moments of that break away from the upbeat, inoffensive vibe that characterizes most of the album, and breaks from the usual lead guitar-rhythm guitar-bass-drums instrumentation we all know really shine on this album.
Overall, this was a nice, enjoyable to listen to, upbeat indie rock album. While I honestly don’t see myself going out of my way to listen to this in the future (granted, that’s my personal opinion…maybe y’all will love this, music taste can be fickle and subjective), there are definitely some good bits in here, and I’d be curious to see what this group has in store in the future.
Sounds Like: The Strokes (but more twee)?, Los Campensinos, Phoenix,
Sights and Sounds (Track #2)
Inertia (Track #7)
Reviewer’s Name: Gabrielle
Date of Review: 2/6/2019