Album review: Fictonian - Desire Lines
PUBLISHED: 14:21 08 December 2015
An interesting single-handed debut that grooves and moves in equal measure, says Stephen Moore.
The debut album from multi-instrumentalist Glen Roberts’ alter-ego is a refreshing, intelligent foray into pop music’s more interesting corners, where songs form from organic motifs and texture is key.
Tracks like Kettle Of Fish and Make It Be Ours have an aesthetic of easy rhythms and compelling melodies with prominent, pleasingly different percussion arrangements bolstering them further still.
His voice isn’t far removed from Beck and his tapestry-style of songwriting nods towards Mercury Music Prize nominee Nick Mulvey, who he supported on tour this summer.
But Fictonian stakes out his own territory, be it the summery sway of Moira Junction or fanciful Beach-Boys-meets-Electric-Prunes psych of Mrs Jones, for example, or the bouncy Little Blue Book, which drops in a backing choir and laces it with piano for stadium-filling atmospherics on a budget.
The evocative I Remember trawls through a failed relationship, building from intimate solo vocal and piano to an almost ghostly multi-tracked call, while the beautiful harmonies, finger-picked acoustic guitar and gently slapped percussion of Double Negative bring summer flooding back.
Desire Lines’ final-track climax, Full Circle Influence, is just gorgeous, too, hypnotising with interwoven motifs of rich acoustic and electric guitar, sampled handclaps, woodblock, tambourine and Eastern spices delivered with a heady, laid-back gait.
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