Posted on December 14th, 2013 (9:00 am) by Taylor Evans

It only takes eight tracks for Fronds to pique the interest of music fans. Fronds’ self-titled record, which came out October 8 via Do Not Disturb Records, is Dylan Tidyman-Jones debut solo album. Tidyman-Jones was the guitarist for the now out of commission band, the Mallard. The Mallard specialized in “goth-pysch” and Tidyman-Jones doesn’t completely shake these roots on his solo debut, going for a more psychedelic and dreamy, rather than goth, pop sound. Fronds is a melancholy, beautiful record that although at times hard to understand lyrics wise, gives listeners a reason to strain their ears just a bit harder than usual.

Fronds is a record that listeners can sway along to, track after track. The sometimes far away vocals and psychedelic instrumentation are easy to lose yourself in on a slow afternoon or as you drift off to sleep. The album really shines when female vocals are introduced. They provide a nice contrast to Tidyman-Jones’ smooth, low-pitched voice.

“Crush,” the first track, is a relaxed dreaming number. The spacey sounds floating through it make the listener feel like he’s out of this world. The vocals are sparse and occasionally punctuated by breathing that almost seems to serve as a chorus and it’s almost up for interpretation. Is Tidyman-Jones gasping for breath? It’s not really made clear. “Wash” is a standout because of its sound. It moves along at a slow, soothing pace.

Despite its name, “Graves” is an more upbeat track that still retains the melancholy established earlier in the record. “Rows of graves flank the bank,” Tidyman-Jones’ sings during the beginning of the song. The vocals are simply haunting when paired with music that has a bit of energy behind it.

Two of the more accessible songs on Fronds cap off the album. “Tent” make use of the female vocals that enhance parts of the album. The male and female voices mingling sound pretty and romantic when they sing about being bundled in tents. The last track, “Flag,” ends with a high note. The clapping and cheeriness, and again with those female vocals, sound like a track on an album for a super hip, indie movie.

Fronds is not likely to hit the mainstream with his self-titled album, but that’s okay. The heavy, sometimes strange, instrumentation isn’t for everybody and whispered vocals sometimes get lost in the music. Fronds’ dreamy, lugubrious sound is worthy of a cult following of devoted listeners who just want something different and a little deeper to enjoy.

Track List:
1. Crush
2. Sphere
3. Wash
4. Graves
5. Gold
6. Contents
7. Tent
8. Flag

Fronds - self titled
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

67 / 100
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