Released: August 2014

US three-piece Faded Paper Figures are that rare thing – a college band that stayed together after college. Having spent some time honing their sound, they have created an accessible electronic pop sound that manages to be both ‘in your face’ and full of subtlety.

From the word go, opener Breather sets the scene – a powerful pop sound full of electronic layers and strong vocal melodies. It’s a vein that runs throughout the album, melodies that work well enveloped in effects that blend the vocals into the electronic wrapping. It’s a technique used to great effect by forebears such as The Postal Service, a band particularly called to mind by track 6, On The Line. One of the tracks with the lightest touch, it has a quietly expensive chorus and verses whose chord patterns move in pleasingly unexpected directions.

Another highlight, and another change of pace, Horizons Fall is clear highlight. Breaking down the sound to a simple vocal and guitar opening that slowly builds with more and more additions – it is a song that grows by adding simple elements. And this is the ultimate strength of Relics: simple elements, layered into complex, effective and compelling songs.

★★★

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