Rating: A- Dwnld: Stolen Strings, Kids in the Park
Debut LP’s are always hard to distinguish as you don’t really have any other examples to fall back on . Faux Pas, hailing from the underrated music scene in St. Louis, flex their obvious influences in the likes of Fleet Foxes, Horse Feathers and She&Him like a white flag being waved in a unforgiving war.
As we pull back the curtain on Eloisa, we are greeted with the first two singles: November and Stolen Strings. Both are deserving but almost seem like they were pre-destined . While the song structure is tight, and Ashley keeps the verses exciting in November, ironically the wintery cold chorus seems a bit out of place. Stolen Strings is paced by astringent guitar work that is beautifully orchestrated and seems deeply though out. Strangely, the vocals are more of an afterthought, almost like a background instrument.. I do adore this tune but wish it was placed deeper in the record as I think it would fit better overall. Both are available as singles on their soundcloud profile
Kids in the Park, is the third entry and possibly my favorite. I am fascinated by the Ani Difranco meets Johnny Cash lyrical presentation mixed with the cautious but upbeat musical output. The song seems to flow so easily from verse to chorus and back again, which is highlighted by the stable percussion work. Mona Lisa is another elegant track as well as the one that procedes it, Eloisa. The latter is a drawn out full body experience. Dual vocals raise their head here, giving the band a different angle that is greatly appreciated. Around the 4 minute mark, it turns course and branches off, exploring a heavier sound before being riled back in. This little nuance exposes the influences that I spoke of previously. You Say, the heart breaking final track, leaves us cursing the world that the record is over and feverishly hitting the replay button. Out of all the tracks on here, this one in my opinion, is best suited for single status.
All in all, this is a fantastic debut by a highly talented band. Exposure in the music world has become the new deity but I would not be surprised to see them expand in audience in the near future. Faux Pas have a legitimate chance to exceed expectations and take this genre by its “antlers” so to speak. You can listen to the entire album below: