Single Review: Fenech-Soler – Cold Light

By on Tuesday, 13th December 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

2016 has definitely turned out to one of the most significant years of upheaval in my life, and I imagine it probably has for you too. A band who also underwent significant changes themselves this year are Fenech-Soler. Formerly a four-piece, the band from Kings Cliffe announced earlier this year that bassist Daniel Soler (whose full Maltese surname was used to name the band) and drummer Andrew Lindsay voluntarily and amicably departed from the band.

This left brothers Ben and Ross Duffy to carry on Fenech-Soler’s work as a duo. ‘Kaleidoscope’, an EP they unveiled in September, clearly shows they have no intention of stopping. The idea of them carrying on as a twosome may sound weird on paper, but electronics and production have been so important to the electropop act’s sound – have a listen to their 2010 eponymous debut and 2013’s ‘Rituals’ – that it seems like a no-brainer to keep it tight and in the family because they’re so highly competent in what they do.

The Duffy brothers announced at the start of this month that the third Fenech-Soler album ‘Zilla’ will be released at the start of February 2017. With that announcement, they also revealed an early cut from the album. ‘Cold Light’ begins less electro than I expected, with a more indie guitar sound, as a set of repeated haunting chords welcome you in. It’s a nicely bracing beginning, if sounding a bit tentative, both instrumentally and lyrically (“cold light, I look into the sky / fresh blood, you and I / I know I will not stray too far / when you’re close, I feel no fear of the dark”). That said, you can tell it’s designed to be a dramatic build-up, but to what?

The payoff comes in around the 3-minute mark, when the synths come in with a vengeance. Now, that’s more like it, lads! The rhythm introduced here is a great ‘70s-esque groove, morphing the tune from the otherwise chill feeling earlier in the proceedings into a full-fledged dance floor banger. Though it starts up slow, the conclusion of ‘Cold Light’ suggests Fenech-Soler are not eschewing their electropop roots. No, they demonstrate in their new single an intriguing way to create anticipation towards an anthemic ending.

8/10

‘Zilla’, Fenech-Soler’s third album and their first as a duo, will be released on the 3rd of February 2017 on So Recordings. They announced last week a few UK dates in February and March of next year, sandwiched between American and European shows. To read more of TGTF’s past coverage on Fenech-Soler, follow this link.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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