Fendahlene - High and Low and Back Again - Stereo Stickman

Fendahlene High and Low and Back Again


London’s Fendahlene impress with ease as this brand new album of originals hits the indie rock scene with beauty and strength united.

Kicking things off with a brilliant fusion of melancholy and uplifting rock energy, Burnt Out is a powerful anthem of an opener, and introduces the band with an REM-inspired tone and thoughtful songwriting style. Follow this up with a mighty hook, some infectious guitar work, and an overall progression that quickly connects and begs for you to turn up the volume, and already we’re onto a winner.

As the project continues, we’re embraced by more and more poetic reflections on life, and this brilliantly nostalgic yet crisp and organic pop-rock set-up that’s a pleasure to lose yourself within. In addition, we’re increasingly exposed to this underlying concept that ties all of the songs together – the title track in particular allows us a touch of insight. Perhaps this collection actually represents equal parts highs and lows, conceptually and mood-wise.

The title track leads with a mellow aura, a less passionate, more intimate vocal, and another story – alongside some questioning lyrics that directly welcome you into the moment.

By now, the band’s voice – not just the singer, but this manner of writing and sound design – is comforting, familiar, and something it’s easy to trust in. We listen to the truths of the life, knowing it’s nothing we hadn’t already considered, but there’s warmth in having reality presented in such an energising and genuine way.

Speak Out is a beautiful song, and a fine example of the above. It’s reassuring, reinforcing quiet beliefs, and seems incredibly relevant in terms of the events that have made up much of 2020.

We then get a heartfelt reminder to live in the moment, to appreciate each new day and breath of fresh air. Here And Now draws gleeful attention to the fact that we’ve got the rest of our lives to get old. It prompts you to try harder, to work on things that matter to you – to spend your time in a worthwhile fashion, chasing those big dreams and building things of worth.

Keeping things subtly eclectic throughout, certain changes in vocal style and lyrical substance redirect things slightly. Can’t Feel This Way seems like a fresh angle from the band – a song with a concise yet mighty leading riff.

We then get Side Two of the project, in which perhaps we’re prompted again to consider the highs verses the lows – and the consistency with which we move through them.

Which Way to Go is deeply personal, reflective and uncertain – there’s less resolve to the chorus, less optimism perhaps. This feels like a low, but the music continues to energise. A New Thread follows and re-injects a hit of welcomed possibility. A melodic highlight, easily recognisable for its brightness and simple, short but memorable lyrics.

Two Sides brings back piano, a pop-rock core and a warming sense of rising anticipation and pace. Get Over It then adopts a more distorted, punk-pop-esque vibrancy for an angst-driven, equally punk-inspired song that again subtly highlights another side of the band’s creative edge.

At the penultimate moment, acoustic guitar and a thoughtful title intrigue from the offset, before I Won’t Call Time goes on to explore the concept of change, uncertainty, and loyalty. Then we get the delicate finger-picking and Americana slides of a gorgeously emotive Dead and Gone to bring things to a quiet, contemplative finish.

A definite highlight for its lyrical prowess, satisfying melody, and musical progression alike. A beautifully addictive song, and the perfect way to close down the collection. So good, in fact, that it quickly invites a re-listen – something that further seals the deal as to this being a timeless, consistently enjoyable new album; from a band well worth looking out for on the UK’s live scenes, as and when the time returns.

Find & follow Fendahlene on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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