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Feather Beds – Blooming

Michael Orange (The Star Department, Soft Bones) is a chef of the sublime, bringing familiar musical elements together so beautifully that it occasionally defies belief. Don’t get me wrong, the recipe is simple: impossibly dreamy washes of guitars, synths and other hard-to-identify textures, juxtaposed against crisp drum patterns. On recent single ‘Soft Yellow’, the real magic lies in the drop at 2:29 – the moment after the break when the beat returns, ratcheted up a notch, and the song starts to run away at a heady clip, chased by a gorgeous synth melody, raising the hairs on the back of your neck. Elsewhere, the momentum is sustained from the get-go by surges of guitars (‘Drip Feed’), or is withheld in favour of vertiginous, atmospheric drifting (‘Fear of Water’). While Feather Beds‘ debut The Skeletal System sounded more vulnerable and home-spun, Blooming feels lush and robust, able to carry the listener a significant distance, suspended aloft on clouds of ambient-pop.

The only criticism I could level at this release is that Michael’s vocal melodies tend to follow a similar contour from song to song, but when the overall feel of the album is this beatific, such nit-picking feels mean-spirited. Especially when not a moment is wasted across these 35 minutes. The only option is to go back for more.

And the more I listen to Blooming, the more it keeps, y’know, what’s the word…

[Blooming is released on Moderna Records on 27th October.]

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Article first appeared in Dots And Loops blogspot. For more from Tim please visit Dots And Loops