A HIATUS of eight years hasn’t dimmed Fuzzy Lights as mysterious musical force, not one bit; quite the opposite, in fact.
They’ve a new album, Burials, out at the end of next week, and we can reveal that on Burials they push way, way out beyond folk, incorporating the fire and the flame of post-rock into their compositions while never fully departing from the mainspring of a proud, strong, often dark English folk-rock tradition.
They’ve just unveiled their third single from the album, “Sirens”, the video for which is just down beneath the words; sirens, those mythical sea beings who call the unwary to their watery world, are here metaphorically embodied in crisp fuzz riffs and a double-beat break that propels this witchily delicious acid-folker on. But beware the current siren song, amplified across social media, we’re warned.
Lyricist Rachel Watkins explains: “This song deals with the divisions in our society that have been amplified over the last few years since the rise of the far right in mainstream politics and in the media.
“It’s a dark love song that tries to figure out how can we live with one another when there is so much hate and resentment.”
K. Craig, who’s brought the supremely hauntological video element to “Sirens” – all psychedelia, public information films, Scarfolk and Robin Hardy – says: “The film was collaged from found 16mm footage, macro lens photography and digital animations.
“The song felt to me like a psilocybin folktale, so I really wanted to suggest occult magazine design of the 60s and 70s, mondo freakout films and an atmosphere of the esoteric.
“Fuzzy Lights’ music is always so atmospheric and beautifully layered, and I wanted to bring this depth and resonance to the film. Old tales, summers gone bad, high strangeness.”
Wish to sample some more of Fuzzy Lights’ latest work? Well, we also fell for the wood-smoky acid folk of “Maiden’s Call” and the stunning feedback fire of “Under The Waves”, both tracks taken from the new album.
The Cambridge quintet – singer and violinist Rachel Watkins, guitarist and electronica guru Xavier, her husband, guitarist Chris Rogers, bassist Daniel Carney, and drummer Mark Blay – have stretched out, morphed and incorporated an innovative array of other genre influences into their psychedelic folk-rock.
It still draws on an aesthetic base of the grandmasters of the form: Richard Thompson, Trees, et al – but you’ll also hear within much less expected sonic scapery – Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor even.
Match these elements together – strong lyrics from a great English voice, and the leap forward out, but never uprooting from, the folk root system of the band – and the result is an enthralling, multifaceted record, woven with the intricacy and dazzle of a souk tapestry.
Watch out for our full album review next Monday morning.
Fuzzy Lights’ Burial will be released by Meadows on July 2nd digitally, on limited CD and limited vinyl; you can get your order in now at Bandcamp.