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Album Review
Fragments Fine

Fragments Fine
by City Oh Sigh

Home Alone Music

Review Date
1st April 2014
Reviewed by
James Manning

Wellington quartet City Oh Sigh return with their debut album Fragments Fine, a body of work defined by a classically-trained approach to folk pop. At only ten tracks the album flies by swiftly, but the tender melodies within the delicately arranged songs will linger in mind long after first listen.

Opener ‘Sometimes’ begins with strings and brass, setting the scene for rolling drums to ripple to and fro till the end. Follow up ‘Cotton Cocoon’ ever so gently swoons with lyrics “under covers I will hide, under covers I’m safe inside", the guitars as warm as the subject matter.

Much of the album plays out in similar fashion; drums, keys, guitar and orchestral instruments weave around the softly-sweet vocals before cascading with ease. It's in this simplicity that City Oh Sigh tease us, never indulging too much with an outro or verse. Indeed, their restraint displays a mature control over song ideas and structure that drives the album with a carefree flow.

Scattered throughout are fragments of unmistakable tension that lend a small degree of gloom - from the exotic guitar solo on ‘Last Season’ to the emotionally heavy chorus on ‘Let It Roar’ and then anthemic ‘How Long’. Somehow, it blends eloquently with the minimalist pop and glows just as bright.

Overall, City Oh Sigh deliver a sophisticated debut that focuses on the warmth in the cold, and finds mastery in its simplicity; an engaging collection of sedative Sunday listenings sure to ease any worries.


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