Hypnotic riff work and lightly doubled vocals loaded with seductive depth guide us through a deeply poetic, intriguing opening track as Head Fake’s new EP hits the scene.
For those new to the band, Hollywood Dreams kicks off this project beautifully. A certain crisp, contemporary clarity meets with a mildly nostalgic style, and organic musicianship that’s easy to appreciate right about now. All of this lays out a satisfying progression and intersting songwriting style that’s quick to captivate.
In comes the rising energy, a sense of increasing movement and brightness as multiple layers join the display. That live aspect is comforting in times of limited live music, and with a few dashes of retro synths and keys, Head Fake effectively create something full and refreshing to escape into. The direct addressing of the listener, as it appears, also helps invite a level of unity that’s easy to connect with.
You Could Come Around follows and that eighties-esque, Depeche Mode tone strikes all the more notably for this rhythmically engaging, bass-heavy and melodically satisfying track. Already Head Fake have a clear sound of their own, and the songwriting can be as varied and eclectic as it likes; without losing sight of those natural qualities. The dance-pop energy from the instrumental contrasts the mellow, authoritative nature of the vocal brilliantly.
The Silence takes a mildly different route, a fresh voice and a delicate arrangment, almost Placebo-like in lyric but brighter and more acoustically soft as it progresses. Beautiful, hopeful and dreamy – a fine showcase of that versatility touched on earlier.
All I Carry maintains a similar level of colour and optimism, an uplifting hit and a personal favourite for its soundscape and concept alike – not to mention the descending, calming resolve for the hook. Having said that, We Are Stars proves an entrancing and almost medieval alternative, with an equally addictive melody, and a beautiful chorus of vocals for the hook – another definite highlight for how catchy yet unusual the whole thing is.
Feel Like Going Home injects further brightness and lifts the energy of the room musically – despite talk of running away, thoughts of isolation and self-hate. Head Fake utilise contrast quite powerfully throughout this collection – perhaps reinforcing the relevance of their artist name in a fascinating manner.
At the final hurdle we get some industrial rhythms and brief vocal fragments for a topically poignant and unexpectedly soulful, funk-soaked JFK. Strong melodies unite voices and captivate beautifully – an absolute stand-out for its swagger and historical context combined. An unpredictable change in direction, but a stylish seductive arrangement that begs for a few repeat listens. Retro yet immersive, and instantly memorable. The perfect way to go out.
Finely crafted poetry, melodies and soundscapes, with plenty of instrumental intention, a uniquely recognisable style overall, and superb production throughout – EP 3 is an easy place to escape to right now.