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Album Review

by French For Rabbits

Lefse Records / Home Alone Music

Review Date
9th December 2014
Reviewed by
Paul Larsen

Dream pop duo, French For Rabbits have been simmering away on the edge of the Wellington and Christchurch folk scenes since as far back as 2011. It’s not been until the last year or so that things have begun to accelerate however. Not least of all, the number of band members, with the addition of a full time bassist and drummer adding a fuller and more complex sound to the group’s wistful songwriting on their debut full length record, Spirits.

According to vocalist and keyboardist, Brooke Singer, the band intended the 10 tracks that make up Spirits to be lo-fi in production and reasonably sparse, but she describes the end result as “a bit more... strange”. As non-descript as that is, it’s actually quite a fitting way of describing the records’ sound. The meshing of desperately melancholic lyrics with feather-light guitars and keys seems like a straightforward equation but every now and then the introduction of an offbeat drum hit or layered echo will throw up an unexpected result.

While Spirits is by no means a raucous record, there are enough lively moments sprinkled throughout to make you sit up and listen, including the wonderfully paced ‘Lean’ and album closer ‘Seafarer’ (with one of the sweetest guitar pieces heard in a long time) which keep the album from being so weightless as to float away entirely. Fans of intricate and engaging folk needn’t look further than Spirits.


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