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For over two years, London-based quartet FURS have been teasing us with infectious single after infectious single. It began with “Just Kids”. The song was deliriously brilliant psychedelic pop that completely grabbed your attention with the anthemic instrumentation and frontwoman Elle Wade’s dreamy vocals. Not surprisingly, the song attracted the attention of many across the blogosphere and was a Hype M favorite.
FURS quickly followed their lead single with the equally mesmerizing “An Eye on the Vicious”, which we called “euphoric pop”, and a few months later with the groovy “I Wanna Know”, a brilliant modern-day, disco-pop track. The three songs gave hope that a full-length was in production and to be released in 2015. As is the case often with a new album, the highly anticipated LP was put on hold until it finally arrived ten days ago.
FURS’ debut is aptly titled Just Kids to honor the band’s breakout hit and first single, but it also reflects the sound and themes heard on the record. Just Kids is ’70s-inspired psychedelic and disco pop with the dominant themes being love and love lost, the celebration of youthful exuberance, and self-discovery. It is through and through a retro album, but one done with dazzling effect as the band cleverly integrates modern indie elements, such as a touch of shoegaze, dramatic buildups, and euphoric climaxes.
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Much of this formula has already been heard on the aforementioned song plus the earlier album releases – such as the synth-heavy “Natives”, which echoes another hidden gem’s take on the genre Coves, and “Holy Reviewer”, arguably FURS’ most beautiful and spellbinding song they have written and one that focuses more on the spiritual than the physical. However, the album’s closer, “Gone”, just might epitomize the band’s inter-generational approach. Commencing slowly with just Elle’s vocals over a piano with the occasional reverb of an electric guitar, the song ascends into an electrifying, captivating collision of sound, which has the same, entrancing effect as watching a beautiful fireworks display.
The new songs also offer something to grab onto and enjoy. The opener “Going Nowhere” has a doo-wop undertone (and not just from the opening words where Elle utter “doo wop” and introduces us to the album’s groovy vibe. “Why Don’t You Smile?” has a ’70s pop-rock flair and has a guitar hook that will stick with you for days. “Our Blue Moon” is an awesome, urgent song that is taken into overdrive by the great drum work on this track. Meanwhile, the crystalline guitars that percolate throughout “Modern Lovers” gives this track about the promiscuous nature of people a cosmic soul.
Just like their first single, FURS’ debut album is a treat. It is fun and engaging, entertaining yet thoughtful. Just Kids could easily have been released in the ’70s, Instead, we get to enjoy this terrific album today from a band that could be considered a modern-day and better version of ABBA.
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