thu 21/09/2017

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Fuchsia Days | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Fuchsia Days

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Fuchsia Days

Second from Brighton outfit heads into deliciously cosmic easy listening

Red in the face but very far from raging

Bands have grown slack about releasing albums. The Beatles used to pump them out, releasing both Help and Rubber Soul in the first half of 1965, whereas, say, Bastille’s second album arrives three years after their debut (although they released a “mixtape” in-between). Feeble. Kudos, then, to The Fiction Aisle, the newish project from Thomas White of Electric Soft Parade and Brakes. Their second album appears a mere six months after their debut. And it’s well worth investigating.

Debut Heart Map Rubric was an opulent orchestral affair, described here as “hewn in the shadow of John Barry, John Grant, Lloyd Cole and the Last Shadow Puppets”. Fuchsia Days, as its title, punning on a classic Can album, hints, moves things on. The main comparison that springs to mind, however, is not Krautrock but Pink Floyd in their ruminative mid-Seventies pomp. Opening cut “Dust”, a multi-tracked, synth-tickled acapella, recalls their Wish You Were Here period, with a smidgeon of "Bohemian Rhapsody"-era Queen thrown in. Gone is the indie idiom: The Fiction Aisle have cut loose and floated off, as the deliciously gigantic, melancholic “The Dream” makes clear.

The cuddly, almost ecclesiastical “Tonight” is akin to a 12-minute tribute to late Floyd keys-man Rick Wright. However, Fuchsia Days does not wibble into tune-free noodle. White’s way with an easy listening melody is intact and his love-lorn lyrics ground things. “Country Mile” is an ode to a Scandinavian good time but could be read as a brass-led elegy for post-EU Britain with lyrics such as “We’re all inside our own heads now/We are leaving new friends, leaving this town,” and “Won’t be seeing you for a long while… I feel lost.” Whatever it’s about, it’s beautiful, as is “Threnody (for EA)”, which comes on like a sumptuous fusion of Radiohead and The Polyphonic Spree.

Everything ends with the 14-minute title track, another instrumental suite that strongly recalls Vangelis’s seminal music for the film Bladerunner. Fuchsia Days is a bold move sideways and forward, making this a band to watch like a hawk. At this rate, they’ll have another one out by Christmas. Fingers crossed.

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