Words by Shabnam Ferdowsi
I’ve been waiting for this second issue of FEiN Times since the first one was released last year. The LA duo has a way of making music that keeps you coming back for more. With this EP, FEiN continues to create a distinct sound that blends their wide array of analog talents with synth-pop tendencies that’ll make you turn up the stereo (or maybe just the volume on your laptop?).
Since we’re a blog that’s so intrigued by how music makes you feel, I’ve decided to share with you a little bit about how FEiN’s new music makes me feel when I take a listen.
“Creatures” makes me feel like I’m being chased down in a colorful maze of surrealistic faces and abstract shapes, straight out of a scene where Picasso meets Dalì in a Looney Tunes themed dance party. It’s all kinds of playful, dark and messy. The chorus is catchy, “Knock me out / Swing the hammer, knock me out / Pull the trigger, knock me out/ Leave no traces”, but the lyrics definitely aren’t meant for the superficial heart. Instrumentally the track does amazing things electronically to capture the feelings of overpowering weakness rather perfectly, from the enhanced vocal sound effects to the computer-tronic notes à la sci-fi.
“Girl You Can’t Hide It” makes me feel like I’m at the disco in 2015. One second I’m standing there in my parachute pants in the middle of the dance floor grooving my shoulders to the rhythmic beat, then the chorus hits, it’s 2015 and I’m swooning over the boy band/pop duo /indie group on stage at a house party. Cue the instrumental interlude where the guitar riffs are followed by a fluttering sax line, and all of sudden the party has turned into a fully-fledged flash mob.
Sounds like it could be a fun night, I’d say.
My favorite though still remains “Lonely People”, that I distinctly remember being a hit during Beating Lights’ most recent backyard show where FEiN played an acoustic set. It’s stripped all the way down, so you can feel your ears melting over the harmonies, and sway to the lyrics of unexpected harshness. “We’re all just happy frolicking through hell / But at least we’re not some sad, sad sucker there alone” is the chorus line that has me both cringing and swaying, singing along yet wondering where these feelings are coming from.
You definitely weren’t expecting so much darkness, were you now? Granted neither were we, but that’s what makes these guys so cool. Their songwriting is not without intention; they have some things to say and they’re using their synth-rock melodies to visualize them in our ears.
I know this is only just the beginning for the duo, and simply cannot wait to see what more they can create together.