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Freelove Fenner - In The Bottle Garden (Fixture Records)

Freelove Fenner - In The Bottle Garden
31 July 2010

This is a crisp and bouncy release by Montreal’s Freelove Fenner. The crispness and spry subtlety of the pop songs have an overall darkness to them, which is welcome. The songs’ brevity is also welcome (mostly two minutes and under), allowing the tune just enough time to draw you into the mystery of dry staccato pop-prog before a sudden and succint end. Initially, songs like the opener “New Direction” have a skein of Sea & Cake – esque vocal doubling and dryly hypnotic guitar lines. From there pleasant surprises await on every track, splashes of farfisa on “Henrietta” and the dirtily driving organ pocket of “Out of Town”, easily my favorite tune on this album.

The tones and colors of In the Bottle Garden are finely spun, whittled down to the barest interplay of pure unadorned melody. By avoiding the use of effects, Freelove Fenner manages to paint intricate and finely crafted vignettes that last in the mind and compel repeated listens. In the Bottle Garden is a creeper… a dark alleyway of an album that evokes and engages through understated and creative songwriting.


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