Wednesday 23 July 2014

Fractions - Fractions EP

EP review by KevW

Newcastle collective Fractions were originally conceived as a musical concept with no real ideas of releasing records or looking for any kind of public success. A motley crew made up of producers, an ex member of a hardcore band, a sweet-voiced female singer and more, their music soon began to take the form of songs that really should be heard outside of their inner circle. And so we arrive at their self-titled debut EP (due out on September 8th) and lead-track 'Breathe'. They were right to take this step, and the single has already generated some hype, with expectations running fairly high even at this early stage. 'Breathe' is perhaps the most accessible, the most "single" sounding track on the EP, and its mixture of industrial backing with lush synths is the perfect foil for for a strong melody and the vocals to do their work upon. As far as instant appeal goes, you could say this was the highlight, but it's not all about this one track at all.

What that collection of musicians from different backgrounds make when they're together is a form of synth-pop, perhaps best described as darkwave at times, but lighter on some tracks. There's an almost ambient, dreampop aspect to 'Into The Earth', but with a bleaker side hiding below the surface. The same vibe is taken a step further on the excellent 'Burst', a goth-influenced new-wave number that crosses just a touch into the realms of pop. Curiously, it's both modern and retro at the same time. More forbidding is 'Resist' with its eerie intro and whip-crack beat that really embraces the gothic side of the band; it's a dark and haunting number that could compare to someone like Zola Jesus. The most lingering and brooding of all is probably final track 'Fate', a mysterious shoegaze song where the music steadily moves along like a deadly mist rolling in as the vocals cry out in the distance. It's early days, but we probably haven't heard the last of this lot.

Fractions' website

Buy the 'Breathe' single

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