FareWell Poetry - Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

FareWell Poetry - Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite

by Steve Rhodes Rating:8 Release Date:2011-09-26

For their debut, Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite, Anglo-French ensemble FareWell Poetry have gone all out in producing their own Super-8 film and live performance of their lead track to accompany the release. Epic opener 'As True as Troilus' is certainly a statement of intent. Beginning slowly, as all 19-plus minute songs should, Jayne Amara Ross' spoken-word delivery is the first part that grabs the listener's attention. Listed as poetry rather than a vocal, Jayne's delivery treads a fine line between seductive and sedative, resembling in part a female version of Slint or occasionally the rasps of 90s Gregorian chant botherers Enigma.

It is a perfect accompaniment, however, to the backing, initially of delicate, spectral guitars which build up patiently towards conventional post-rock soundscapes, with nods towards Ennio Morricone and, in the often spine-shredding guitars Godspeed You! Black Emperor. With just a brief respite of field recordings in the middle, the song further builds and erupts into a apocalyptic finale. It is an ambitious and foreboding opener which maintains its own identity and avoids the portentousness that the title could hint at.

After that start you would expect 'All in the Full, Indomitable Light of Hope (part I)' to be a relaxing break but it's anything but. Again with a slow pace, the song relies on effects, noises and deep, moody strings which add a mournful and ominous atmosphere to Jayne's poetry. A seemingly airier progression from the opener, the approach is still intense and dark, but is a delight to listen to.

Thankfully, the intensity is not maintained for 'All in the Full, Indomitable Light of Hope (part II)'. With its more reflective e-bow and delay-drenched beginning and marching drums, it is a wonderful antidote. Again with patience, the song builds slowly, adding strings and beautiful chiming guitar riffs in the Explosions In the Sky mould, leading to a crescendoed, triumphant finale which resembles a cheerier, modernised take on 'Mogwai Fear Satan'. Only the short poetry piece at the very end of it, which feels added on and unnecessary, spoils this album highlight.

Perhaps fittingly, the very short 'In Dreams Airlifted Out', is perfect at summarising the contrasting nature of Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite. Opening with an ominous chiming clock, the song flows effortlessly between the sinister and uplifting. With a brooding, minor-chord, harpischord sound either side of a beautiful choral voice and optimistic samples, it is an excellent closer to the album.

FareWell Poetry have produced an impressive and challenging debut which fits well with the aesthetic of the excellent Gizeh label and labelmates such as Her Name is Calla. Let them enchant you on The Silent Bells tour, coming to a venue near you in the UK in November.

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