Published Jan 26, 2021Montreal art-pop combo Freelove Fenner released a couple of EPs and an album the better part of a decade ago, but they haven't been heard of since 2013's Do Not Affect a Breezy Manner. That's finally changing with the release of The Punishment Zone. It's due out February 2 on Moone Records, and Exclaim! has the full stream now.
The album was recorded in the duo's all-analogue Bottle Garden Studio. A press release explains that they don't avoid digital gear out of snobbery, but in order to achieve the "different results that come with a slower, more tactile process: the happy accidents; the absence of visual stimuli (no screens); the difficulty in attaining high gloss finishes."
The result of this old-school process is a mellow, catchy pop sound that combines vintage electronic sounds with '70s soft rock and smoothly cooed vocals. Opener "Find the Man" combines synth arpeggios with folksy acoustic strums, while "Shoulder Season" employs woodland-style flute tones, and "New Wave Pool" is a dreamy take on its titular genre with a bubbly bass groove and rippling guitar echoes.
Hear The Punishment Zone. below.