Sunday 30 June 2013

Flying Cape Experience - Let's Sing More About The Eyes

Album review by

Flying Cape Experience sounds like a computer game or a scene from a Harry Potter film, yet Flying Cape is actually the name of the place where this duo reside. The Finnish husband and wife pairing recorded this, their first album together, at the end of 2012 and released it earlier this year. 'Let's Sing More About The Eyes' is an aural journey as much as a collection of songs, and you can pretty well summarise what the band are about from opening track 'Unfold'. It's the longest song here at a mighty eleven minutes, but it takes you on a wonderful trip that encapsulates many aspects of what's to come on the rest of the album. With a long intro section that's essentially an ambient and incredibly peaceful drone, it's not until the mid-point that vocals are introduced and we get a gorgeous hybrid of Mazzy Star and Cocteau Twins. These two bands are clearly a big influence on this record. The guitar begins to get louder, almost like the later work of Spacemen 3, as the track gently builds before stopping, seeming to pause for breath. The final third is a blend of the trio of influences we've mentioned; there's still a light drone, there are bubbling sound effects and glistening chimes that are quite fantastical. If you find the length a little daunting then trust them, it's worth every minute.

After such a mammoth entrée, Flying Cape Experience then serve up some delicious portions of dreampop. 'Cry Baby' begins like Beach House covering The Radio Dept., but by the time the vocals hit you can almost hear the ghosts of bands like Portishead or even Morcheeba drifting through the song, steering it away from what you may have expected; they're not going to just run through the dreampop instruction manual. Flying Cape Experience want the music to be their own. The fuzz of distortion opens the next track, 'I Love You', which sounds somewhat eerie given its title, it marks one of the starkest points of the album, but only for a while. This is another song that changes, and beautiful guitars and a deep bass chime in, lifting the mood wonderfully, like the most angelic post-rock you've heard as the noise increases to a thunderous crescendo, before falling back to earth with a gentle bump and sparkling off into the ether with some more eerie vocals. 'Let's Sing More About The Eyes' isn't all elongated, meandering and grandiose sonic adventures though.

'Blue' is simpler, consisting of dreamy vocals and the warm, omnipresent fuzz that bathes the album. And it only just scrapes over two minutes. 'The Cape' also fits your conventional single length and is still backed by that gentle hum with the vocals becoming the focal point; the music playing a supporting role, and 'Together Alone (Kaleva)' is a short and reflective tune. If you want something more upbeat then Flying cape Experience also cater for your needs. They dip closer into the realms of shoegaze with the beat-driven 'Morphosis', a song that allows a touch more noise to enter the equation; it's almost surprising that it's the same band by the grungy mid-point, but those telltale vocals and fuzz just about give the game away. They're not totally done with the songs of epic proportions, and 'I Am The Stars *A Message From Jim Morrison* I Want You So Bad' is more than just a long title, the track is lengthy with separate sections that are interlinked to form a wandering, meandering whole. It's good and at times it's impressive, but it could be the weakest song on the album. That said, calling it "weak" would be doing the song a disservice. It's simply a little less dazzling than some other tracks, although the final third dips into shoegaze again. The tender and very soft 'Swans' is like Kate Bush falling into a gentle sleep inside a Cocteau Twins tune played at half speed; it's about as soothing a dreamscape as you can get. Lastly comes 'Try' which is relatively simple with a little more soul to the vocals and yet another lovely build. It's one thing writing all this about Flying Cape Experience, but really the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So tuck in.

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