Fyfe Dangerfield – Fly Yellow Moon

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Rating: ★★★★½

For most on U.S. soil, Fyfe Dangerfield might be a name largely unknown, but you might recognize his work with his band Guillemots.  They’re a quartet of indie popsters who’ve made waves with British press, but now it’s time for Fyfe to take flight on his own.  Fly Yellow Moon is a remarkable debut affair, and one that will surely find fans on all sides of the Atlantic.  If you’ve ever been in love with British pop, then this is the record for you.

You’ll start your listening experience with “When You Walk in the Room,” and you’ll find your feet stomping.  This number wears the influence of all sorts of British pop, primarily from the late 90s.  Fyfe’s throaty vocals find their way into your heart; this has to be one of the single’s of the year.

But just as he has you stomping your feet to the pop, he spins around and goes all Richard Hawley on you.  For the next couple of tracks he’s a barroom crooner, and one that seems every bit as passionate and believable lyrically. “Barricades” might rest a bit too much along the lines of Travis, but there’s really nothing wrong with that now is there?

Just as you get comfortable sitting in a bar with your favorite pint, he mixes it up again.  The piano-laden”Faster Than the Setting Sun” has a darker quality than previous tracks, as guitars atmospherically fill out the background.  At this point, as a listener, you should remark to yourself the dynamics of Fyfe’s vocal performance on the album.  You can throw the variance of each song on the Fly Yellow Moon into the ring of praise; it’s clear that you’re witnessing one amazing songwriter.

And so the album goes into a bit of an acoustic interlude, pushing two great acoustic songs upon you.  While “Livewire” has a generally folky feel to it, “Firebird” sneaks in with a bit more of an ominous tone to it. Everyone should appreciate Dangerfield’s ability to mix it up, even when the instrumentation seems to be somewhat of the same vein. It’s hard not to say it too much, but not a single song here holds onto its predecessor, yet they all fit together extremely well.   Just wait until you go from the quiet “Don’t Be Shy” into the steady beating “Any Direction.”  If you added a little bit more bass and snare to the mix, the latter would surely be a club hit across the globe.

Stepping out from behind the safety of a band is never an easy task, but Fyfe Dangerfield seems to have done so with such grace that you’ll be astonished at how remarkable a debut this actually is.  It’s not an album bogged down by modern indie rock conjecture or hipsterdom. Fly Yellow Moon is just a refreshing collection of great pop tunes, and in being such a record, you’ll fall in love with just how refreshing it feels.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/05-When-You-Walk-in-The-Room.mp3]

Download: Fyfe Dangerfield – When You Walk in The Room [MP3]

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