SPOTIFY.COM Coves "Fall Out of Love"
SPOTIFY.COM
Coves “Fall Out of Love”

★★★★★

The band Coves hails from the unfamiliar town of Leamington Spa, but this doesn’t stop the English duo from leaving a dent on the surface of the American indie rock culture through their debut album “Soft Friday.” Founded in 2011, the band is a just-emerging talent that is already impressing its listeners.

“Fall Out of Love” opens the album and immediately grips the audience with a fast drum rhythm that slows with the entry of a smooth guitar riff. The combination holds a fascinatingly antiquated feel reminiscent of old Western movies. However, this macho sound, created by musician John Ridgard, is balanced by lead singer Beck Wood’s smooth, soothing voice.

The song sets the pace for the rest of the album, which relies largely on strong guitar and drum entrances to transition into each track. “Honeybee” follows this pattern but adds a powerful bass sound that gives the song a more modern vibe. Wood’s melody is stronger and less pulled-back than the opening song, which pays off in a more interesting and catchy sound. Subtle vocal harmonization adds dimension to the chorus and leaves a lasting impression on Cove’s listeners.

“Beatings” reveals a more experimental side of the band, throwing bits of harmonica and electro sounds into the mix. The track alternates perfectly between a blend of ambient semi-synthetic instrumentals and a sweet, memorable melody. The song has that ideal aloofness that would make great background music for carefree, relaxing days spent bathing in the sunlight or riding down a long stretch of highway.

Although Wood’s voice for the majority of the album’s first half remains soft and wispy, “Last Desire” and “Bad Kick to the Heart” slow it down and introduce a deeper, addictive sultriness to her already remarkable vocals. Both tracks slow down the pace, but while “Last Desire” continues the theme of powerful drum, guitar and electronic mixing, the chorus doesn’t quite live up to the buildup that seemed to be rising in the earlier portion of the song. “Bad Kick to the Heart” was a better showcase of Wood’s abilities. Coupled with a stronger drumbeat, it holds a steady rhythm that doesn’t disappoint, regardless of its unchanging tempo.

Two songs that were most opposite in sound and demonstrate Coves’ wide range of abilities were “Let the Sun Go” and “Fool For Your Face.” With a ’60s ambience built on an instrument-heavy tune and spaced with conversational-sounding tones and lyrics, “Let the Sun Go” is reminiscent of instrument songs like The Doors’ “Light My Fire.” It’s the longest track on the album, which is a testament to the many different guitar, drum, tambourine and other musical combinations and rhythms woven into the song. On the other hand, “Fool For Your Face” is more reliant on one strong, steady beat and a higher-pitched, harmonized melody.

While it’s new to the indie rock scene, Coves joins the ranks among formidable contemporaries like Tame Impala and Washed Out. Its ’60s-styled music has a slight electro twang that separates it from its predecessors, and yet its guitar, drum and harmonica parts are more recognizable than Washed Out’s highly synthesized sound. All in all, the amazing contrast between the sweet, whimsical voice of Beck Wood and the harsher instrumentals of John Ridgard creates a coherent middle ground that any listener would appreciate.

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