Pencil Me In – by Fovea, is their second release in two years, after 2016’s Fear Of, they follow up with this full-length compilation of most original sounds. They do an assortment of styles and mix some of the best genres together like no other, without coming off too experimental about it. The vocals play a prominent role over abstract pieces of artistic music, and the result is a rich combination of the two. They also don’t have any particular-aim with their lyrics, leaving it up to their audience to find their own meaning. It’s difficult but they make it sound so easy because the vocals are so outstanding.
Dreamy pop, jazz, psychedelia and ambient rock are some of the strongest elements this New York outfit weave together and it’s refreshing to hear. The album waste’s no time getting to the musical point on “Boss Boy” and leaving the words where they may fall. The electro-effect on the vocals makes it easy to follow into the cross play between Max Weigel and Halley Furlong-Mitchell as they sing together in boy/girl fashion. This is dark, but not overly serious, but still features the vocals as the up-front instrument. It’s a solid opener but only hints at the direction the album is headed in, which is many.
“Don’t Play” is a sophisticated, laid back and groovy song that follows a completely different structure, as it shows how diverse the album is, within just two songs. It stands on its own two feet and keeps you on your toes for more. And then comes the single “Cost Of” which sounds nothing like to two former tracks, but it winds up well selected in the process of singles, with the two vocalists coming on the strongest so far. This song evenly mixes all of their sounds together, as they swirl around like a tornado of melodies. This is not to be missed as the album pushes on.
They get into several moods, and after the chatter of “Chiamami” it gets to the darkest but also one of the most beautiful songs on “Always” with Halley Furlong-Mitchell turning in a surreal, almost gothic performance with a haunting effect. And spoken word lovers will enjoy the storytelling parts which include “Sent” and “Received” both of which apply some quality music to keep them together. They make way for the fun-loving “Dad Dreams” but there’s not much indication as to what it’s about, as with most of the album. It’s not important to them, which can be found true by their own admission.
Let your ears experiment with Fovea
There is so much going on it would take getting closer to them to find all lyrical perspectives. It is the right semblance that matters most within the rhythm section as to how the vocals apply to a song in order to move you first and make you think second, and these impeccable musicians understand that. Pencil Me In, is a cool album with more variety than most can muster, and that’s one of the best things about any good album. There’s a little something for everyone, and I would recommend it for the sheer greatness of the lovely “S’appeler” with its familiar but elusive melody that just won’t quit.
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-review by John Birch