tue 14/07/2020

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Jupiter, Florida | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Jupiter, Florida

CD: The Fiction Aisle - Jupiter, Florida

Third from Electric Soft Parader's newish band maintains a high quality songwriting threshold

Where David Hockney gets his gas

The third album from Thomas White under his Fiction Aisle moniker is a match for its delicious, under-heard predecessors. White remains best known for his output with The Electric Soft Parade and Brakes but the prolific Fiction Aisle (three albums since 2016) deserve to gain wider purchase. This time round the mood is more tentatively upbeat than previously, and White’s Pink Floyd-ish tendencies are on the back burner, but, at its core, cosmic easy listening is still the game.

The Fiction Aisle aspire to John Barry’s cinematic orchestrated scope, but tinted with hints of Morrissey’s vocal tics, and a broader electronic palette scoping about underneath. “Memory” even has a touch of late Nineties/early Millennial chill-out about it. However, it’s White’s characterful lyrical pith that sets The Fiction Aisle apart, giving his catchy songwriting extra reach and heft.

The Fiction Aisle prove to be mining original, thoughtful and often lovely territory

Previous outings have broached depression in an occasionally desperate or hedonistic manner but “Ten Years” hints at a newfound peace, or at least looking the issue in the eye (“It’s up to me to find any positivity – do I have the strength?”), while indie-ish opener “Gone Today”, despite its summery vibes, may be about existing in the moment rather than letting the past and future nag at the mind.

Another stand-out track is “Sweetness & Light”, a very straightforward, unembarrassed modern love song that’s also contagious. As the album goes on, White relaxes into it, spreading out, letting the sonic stylings grow ever more blissed, notably on the multi-tracked vocals of “Black River”, which bring to mind sunshine in 1970s LA, and the lusciousness of “Some Things Never Die”, until he eventually ends up drifting off on the final ten-minute “Will I Get Where I’m Going Before I’m Ready?”, with its extended instrumental passages heading into balminess.

Jupiter, Florida is as sunny as its title suggests, but cut through with a realist’s lyrical perspective, albeit a realist with a tendency to dream. Once again, The Fiction Aisle prove to be mining original, thoughtful and often lovely territory with a class that’s a cut above the usual.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Gone Today" by The Fiction Aisle

It's as sunny as its title suggests, but cut through with a realist’s lyrical perspective, albeit a realist with a tendency to dream

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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