Album Review

The Fever Fold

The Fever Fold

by Red Steers

A Low Hum
8 / 10

Reviewed by Ryan Eyers

From the opening bars of ‘Dec’, Red Steers immediately strikes you as sounding different from anything you’ve heard from New Zealand before. A giddy mix of competing faux-choral voices, emphatic drums and deft atmospheric touches, ‘Dec’ serves as an ideal opener to the mystical sonic world that Red Steers aka Daniel Johnston has created on The Fever Fold, his second EP released on A Low Hum.

Sounding a lot more like The Knife than anything from these parts, Red Steers does a lot of the same things right as the Swedish duo, crafting layered, twisted pop gems that pulse with a dark, brooding energy and often surprise by blooming into soaring, intense highs, such as on the twinkling, cascading ‘Canoe’. Johnston isn’t always content to give things time to develop though, with ‘Night Hawkes’ swooping at the listener from the outset with its abrasive, crunching beats and deliciously warped vocals while closer ‘Home’ burns strong throughout, as its soothing opening chants subside into a euphoric climax of spacey synths and deliriously earnest vocals.

Consistently diverse and explorative, Red Steers’ The Fever Fold is one of the most unique and original NZ releases of recent times, and remarkably developed considering it is just his second EP. With the only downside being its tantalizing brevity, one can only hope for further glimpses into such fully-formed soundscapes with future releases. And some live shows please!

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