An inconsistent but occasionally beautiful record...

Febueder have a strange relationship with song-writing. The avant-garde group creating song structures in a far from conventional manner. Their career path is also unconventional, being around since as early as 2013, the group have only just released their debut album ‘Tomalin, Has Etched In’.

What we receive on their debut is an album full of experimentation. Texture is a huge part of Febueder’s sound, and they strive for uniqueness. Take the gentle glass tapping on ‘Wolseley’, no it isn’t like the intimidating sound from The Warriors, instead being so delicate that it invites a sense of intrigue. A lot of the sounds throughout ‘Tomalin, Has Etched In’ can be described as intriguing.

The gentle patter of an insect's feet, the light reflecting and cascading down from a chandelier, at its best the album is evocative of such delicate things. ‘Luminary Jail’ feels liquid in form, the way the synth quivers feels as though the sky just lit up. The voice is also used as an additional instrument, often fading in and out of tracks, condensation that surely fades. You can hardly make out the lyrics but they seem secondary in this atmosphere.

With experimentation comes mixed results however, some textures feel identical to others across songs, leaving a sort of echo chamber where they can quickly outstay their welcome. There is a lack of purpose in parts, you find yourself questioning what exactly you’re supposed to be feeling, sometimes songs can just feel blank and emotionless.

At its best, ‘Tomalin, Has Etched In’ will offer you something new and can project beautiful imagery into your head. Much like the music of an artist such as Tourist or Agnes Obel. This avant-garde approach has a few blemishes but ultimately it is likely that you will find at least one part to resonate with.

6/10

Words: Matthew Pywell

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