Written by Adela Skowronski
The scene opens with a guitar. Little notes echo in the vast space of washed up effects and reverb. Ethereal voices soon follow suit. Harmonies very precise and crystalline complete the painting: a valley of noise, with just enough dissonance to add hints of storm clouds in the distance...
The Foil - debut LP of Chicago natives You Folk - is an interesting choice for this young group's first release. Any music nerd will tell you that sonic landscapes are a staple of post-metal and drone music; You Folk shares a lot of the same tendencies, but with a little bit more for the ear to catch. A catchy hook here. Some chanting phrases there. Speech clippings fade songs in and out, and the lyrics range from straightforward to as convoluted as the harmonies in the background. It's a phenomenal gateway for rock lovers who are looking to explore drone without entirely getting rid of pop structure. Plus, as a huge Sting fan, I couldn't help but notice that the harmonic structures are sometimes very indicative of The Police and Sting. Take a listen to 1:41 on Wrapped Around Your Finger and compare the two groups. It's pretty cool!
A slight criticism: if I didn't have the lyrics in front of me it'd be hard to follow. And there are some really cool moments in the lyrics.
"Two long years of trepidation
We finally found a way to chase them
The afterlife was built on promise
It turned its head, but gave no solace " - Libertine
"What makes you think I would like to hear that name? Tyrant gets your blessing, now he gets free reign should we all bend down and kiss his ugly feet? " - Endearment
To name a few. Don't hide them away folks!
Another instance I wish we could hear more of is the juicy switching between an ethereal, post-metal type background and a dramatic, heavily metal foreground. There is only one instant in the album where the songs take on more of a driving force. When the drummer, bassist and guitarist really slam into that instrumental breakdown in Libertine - the juxatposition is amazing! Outside of this, most of the album stays at a similar emotion and tone.
All in all it's a wonderfully ambient piece of work. The mixing of different parts of speeches into the songs make it seem like a concept album, the pop structure is still relatable, and the great mastering gives it a full completed sound.
QUICK SONG BREAKDOWN:
Catch-iest song (in the radio sense) : Past in Place or Future in Motion
Most interesting (time signatures + lyrics): Libertine or Endearment