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Leave Me Out Of This

Fiel Garvie
Leave Me Out Of This
(Words On Music)

I've heard the saying that while Velvet Underground never achieved huge sales, everyone who heard them went out and formed a band of their own. There's probably something in that statement, and I would go ahead and extend it to the band My Bloody Valentine as well, especially with the enduring explosion of bands doing shoegazer rock and pop. Although Fiel Garvie comes in on the quieter end of the spectrum, there's something in the breathy vocals and fuzzy melodies that recall everything from the Cocteau Twins to Slowdive.

Come to think of it, Leave Me Out Of This doesn't sound too far removed from a 4AD release that came out anywhere between the late 80s and early to mid 90s. The five-piece group from Norwich England have been kicking around for about 8 years with several single and EP releases (as well as an earlier full-length), but this sophomore release finds them treading warm sonic waters with what is one of the better releases in the genre that I've heard this year.

The album opens with "B-rock," and the somewhat ironically titled track is anything but rock as it contently swims around with an almost liquid backdrop of guitar and fluid, subtle keyboards while lead singer Anne (everyone in the band simply goes by their first name) adds her childlike, ultra-breathy vocals. "I Didn't Say" and "Got A Reason" inject potent rhythms into the mix and take the group even further into dreampop territory as guitars shimmer over rich basslines and vocals soar with sing-along choruses. "He Goes, She Goes" features two-part female vocals and the whole thing swirls with an even headier haze as plucked guitars loop delicately during building verses before letting loose a bit on the louder choruses.

The whole thing is very dreamy and lush, and if one fault can be given to the album, it's that it simply is a little too similar sounding throughout. Granted, the group keeps things fairly interesting by changing up tempos and even rocking out on a couple ocassions (the gritty "Taking A Hole In My Head" arrives about halfway through a definitely adds a bit of punch to things). Most of the time, though, they move through a mid-tempo cloud of dreamy atmospheres narrated by breathy vocals about love and lost love and finding love again. If you're a fan of dreampop, this one should move onto your list directly (and the packaging is absolutely lovely as a nice bonus).

Rating: 7.5