Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Farewood - Wings Of Gold

Album review by KevW


A six year gap between debut album and second effort is enough to outdo even The Stone Roses legendary hiatus. Rather than legal wrangling and inter-band fighting, the extended break for Connecticut's Farewood was for altogether different reasons. The band's twin vocalists and writing partnership of Lou Lorenzo and Leah Booker also happen to be husband and wife and that time was well spent bringing their first child into the world, an event that proved to be a big inspiration behind many of the songs on 'Wings Of Gold', an album that, in their own words "orbits around the idea of what it means to hold on to one's own identity while being responsible for guiding and shaping another's."

It's difficult to assess exactly how much of the record centres around that concept, as often the lyrics seem rather abstract and, being influenced by dreampop and shoegaze bands, it's often as if you're viewing them through frosted glass. It's all very soft focus and hazy, but with that comes a warming glow that adds to the appeal rather than detracting from the subject matter. It's the sound of 'Wings Of Gold' that will lead people to it and the constant background hum will be something shoegazers everywhere will be well acquainted with, a continuous wall of gentle fuzz and ghostly vocals. It's nothing new yet it's a sound that has multitude of obsessives and doesn't cease to be relevant to the dedicated hordes.

They're unlikely to find anything overly remarkable here, this album's strength lies in its consistency and the fact that none of it is here just to make up the numbers. As collections of songs go this is pretty strong, with 'Sable Sky' and 'About The Angel' being particularly potent. The fact that lead vocal duties are shared adds a little extra diversity to what is an otherwise fairly unchanging sound, although slower tracks such as 'Vacancy' and the lovely 'Fruit Trees' also prevent things becoming too monotonous. Wings of gold must be pretty heavy things to carry about, and although they don't quite reach giddy heights with them, Farewood do achieve lift-off with this record and it's definitely worth exploring. See you again in six years time then, guys?





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