Published Sep 14, 2016The songs on Furfour, Grumbling Fur's fourth LP, began years ago and were honed through touring while the duo pursued another recorded project. Now, this set of psych-tinged electronic pop tunes is seeing release.
Furfour finds Daniel O'Sullivan and Alexander Tucker becoming even more comfortable as vocalists, going all-in on their pop music gamble and coming out big winners. As anyone who has followed the careers of these two experimental shape shifters will have come to expect, Furfour is adorned with subtle psychedelic touches and rich sonic texturing.
Yet, the record is first and foremost a collection of pop songs. Anyone approaching Furfour with cynicism or scepticism about vocal-driven pop music may be turned off by the duo's unabashed embrace of the form, but it's hard not to be immediately drawn in by Grumbling Fur's full-bodied voices delivering irresistibly catchy melodies. The vocals are placed well forward in the mix, and supported by equally strong arrangements consisting mostly of electronics and strings.
Further listens reveal equal attention has been devoted to the instrumental passages, too. The second half of "Golden Simon" features ethereal strings and flute mingling atop a crisp ¾ beat, and the interlude "Pyewacket's Palace" is a stirring slice of cinematic ambience.
On Furfour, Grumbling Fur prove once again that they have the chops to inhabit multiple worlds at once: they're natural songwriters, but also aurally astute sonic innovators. This record delivers on both levels. (Thrill Jockey)