The Fur Coats - Mirror Gazing EP

by James Weiskittel Rating:8 Release Date:2018-07-13
The Fur Coats - Mirror Gazing EP
The Fur Coats - Mirror Gazing EP

Portland’s The Fur Coats have been honing their psychedelic-tinged brand of indie-pop for nearly a decade now.  And with a backstory that reads straight from the pages of rock’n’roll lore - the six-piece line-up apparently spent their formative years shacked up in a haunted mansion of all places - the band has slowly built an impressive cult-following the good ol’ fashioned way: one unforgettable show at a time.  And with their latest release, the Mirror Gazing EP, The Fur Coats have managed to document the kinetic energy of their live performances by way of this vibrant recording.

Pairing three previously released singles with two additional new songs, Mirror Gazing is bound together by a loose ‘dark to light’ theme.  But whether or not that is readily apparent is pretty much beside the point, as Mirror Gazing is perhaps best described as a collection of inspired pop songs.

The EP opens with the funk-laced groove of “Real Love”, a dance-floor-ready number that immediately showcases the infectious vocal interplay between singers Chris Karl and Betty Downy. Meanwhile, the upbeat “We Live”, and the euphoric “The Garden” instantly recall the lush, dream-pop of new wave bands like Talk Talk and Tears For Fears, layering pristine production choices with cleverly crafted songs.

The EP’s final two tracks, the slow-burning “Transmortal Vibes”, and the concise, yet surprisingly anthemic “Don’t Be Cruel” are welcome additions, adding yet another dimension to the band’s impressively eclectic sound.  From the lush harmonies, and subtle keyboard work to the judicious use of chiming guitars and tasteful saxophone playing, the band elevates the music on Mirror Gazing with an endearing mix of quirky sonic embellishments.

If the Mirror Gazing EP is to be one’s introduction to The Fur Coats, then the band have definitely succeeded in placing their best foot forward.  The only downside may be in that the five songs presented here feel like the opening salvo to an otherwise non-existent album; a distinction that is sure to leave fans wanting more.  Here’s to hoping that a full-length is right around the corner.

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