Wednesday 29 August 2012

Feldspar - The Flat & Paper Sky Vol. 1

EP review by KevW

Is the recent influx of bands turning to more organic and acoustic based sounds such as folk and country for inspiration a direct reaction against the processed and autotuned music currently being digested by the public? Is there some form of Jamie Oliver style campaign to feed our nation more wholesome, natural, unrefined and additive-free bands instead? And is this kind of thing really healthier than the genetically modified, battery-farmed, artificial sounds that our youth ingest on a daily basis? Probably not, the most likely expectation is that the breakthrough success of Laura Marling, Mumford & Songs, Noah & The Whale and so on has opened the collective consciousness of the country to the goodness than can be found in the once sneered upon genre of folk by carefully mixing in more contemporary indie and rock touches to sweeten the taste slightly. Those are gateway bands, leading ears towards less chart-friendly corners of the musical world. The tide will turn eventually, leaving other genres to fight it out with the pop brigade, but before it does we have bands like Londoners Feldspar to enjoy.

There's nothing in their brand of alt-folk that will astonish and little in the way of innovation, the reason this first half of a two EP set is worth a few moments of your time is in its arrangements and conventional yet accomplished songwriting. They stir up a tumultuous mood on 'Cressida' with military drums and rousing orchestration, then on 'Lady Danger' they head for an indie-rock influenced sound which may be their best shot at grabbing some radio play. It's traditional but memorable thanks to the zeal with which they attack it, even adding a fiery guitar solo. It's more than enough to prove they're not just cashing in on a current fad. The closest they come to trad-folk is 'Let The Time Run' which again is lifted by its delivery. If you suffer from a short attention span then 'The Rest' may be one to skip, but if you don't then you'll find a moment of tender beauty, while 'Shadow' is an understated finale which features Nick Drake guitar and brings the EP to a gentle but elegant close. If you're already beginning to tire of the endless stream of nu-folk bands, before you leave them behind for good, it's worth taking a chance on 'The Flat And Paper Sky' because you might just find something worthwhile lurking here.

Feldspar's website

Stream the EP in full

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