Faroe - Words ep

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7 Release Date:2016-02-22

Corentin Ollivier of French band Concrete Knives has released his debut EP, Words, under his new side-project, Faroe, and it's just as smooth as you please. The influence of fellow French group Air are noticeable, as he's created a small set of extremely listenable, mellow indie-pop.

The opener, 'A Lot Better Now', has a slow piano melody that alternates with some more ambient and electronic sections, but it's helped along by the excellent pop sensibilities of the vocals, with lyrics like "It feels good to have you by my side." Simple, but effective. And that's really the core mindset of this album. 

To be clear, though, these aren't radio-friendly, high-energy songs. Everything leans toward the ballad side of the equation. "Heal" is probably the weakest track. It moves faster, but somehow the exact tones used for the instrumentations and vocals don't quite click. Where the other songs feel rich and heavy with meaning, this song rings hollow, almost robotic. I think part of the issue is that the lyrics are oddly constructed, obviously due to English being a second language for Ollivier.

"Feel the Need" goes a bit spacey with the effects, but grounds itself with sweet piano chords that give a powerful solemnity. This gorgeous effect is split in the middle by a truly weird section that reminds me of some of the stuff Gnarls Barkley did on their debut album, all funky beats and disjointed spoken word. "Quiet" is perfectly named, with a simple, sparse electro melody, gentle percussion, acoustic guitar sprinkled about, and Ollivier's breathy voice. The closer, "Blast", is the peppiest song on the set, with a quickly moving melody and more energetic vocals from Ollivier. There are some big electro chords splashed on top, and eventually the percussion picks up with a smattering of clicks and pops.

The whole set is made up of songs with only a few elements, but it's a perfect case is less is more when it comes to the quality of the songs. There's nothing excessive or over the top, just the essential parts needed to make everything work. And it's the kind of music that would definitely fit into a love making session, when you get right down to it. Or, more generally, a late night bit of reflection.

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