Posted on February 3rd, 2015 (4:00 pm) by Casey Bauer

Once upon a time there was a reviewer for Inyourspeakers who upon listening to Breakfast in Fur’s debut full-length album, hated it. It was noise and a cluster of too many “oohs" and "ahhs” instead of real lyrics, and it made her fall asleep the first time she heard it. Then she woke up and put on real headphones.

Apparently, some music isn’t intended to be listened to through speakers, even amongst the backdrop of a silent home. Never has this been more obvious than when listening to Breakfast in Fur’s intimate Flyaway Garden. The band started out with Dan Wolfe making music in his friend’s laundry room in upstate New York. Over the years, Wolfe experimented with complex layers of sound, and gradually picked up fellow musicians and friends, convincing them to collaborate with him. The result is a sweet and deceptively intricate psychedelic-pop meets experimental-folk band, inspired by the surreal sculpture by Oppenheim.

At first listen, Flyaway Garden is densely packed and just lo-fi and shoe gaze-y enough to fuzz out boomy speakers and make everything sound like noise. It’s hard to pick up on everything that’s going on, but a closer (and more appropriately equipped ear) will tell you that Breakfast In Fur has a lot worth listening to, and it becomes almost frustrating to know that it could’ve been easy to write them off.

The album opens with “Shape,” a jingly tune complete with bells, a driving drum set, and a playful keyboard holding the overall melody. The vocals are almost indiscernible, thanks to their lo-fi quality and the way in which each syllable is stretched. The song isn’t the album's most provocative, and the video isn’t much more interesting, but it does a great job of representing the band's experimental, quirky spirit: minimalist, geometric patterns animate the foreground, while grainy footage of live performances, recording sessions, and candid moments fill the back.

The appropriately named, “Whisper,” is indeed a dreamy murmur of a song, beautifully written on all accounts. We’re introduced to a pleasant, simple guitar amongst layers of textured keyboards, and we can just barely make out, “if you took my clothes away and you cut my hair, I would be just a whisper in the wind.” It’s a sad sentiment, but charming and completely worth the strained ear (once again, headphones and the volume up all the way is essential). Over the next five minutes, the song builds into nothing particularly new, but it’s hard not to get lost in what can only be described as a brightly colored tornado swirling and reverberating every noise under the sun.

The best song by far is “Lifter.” Completely instrumental save for rhythmic, child-like “oohs" and "ahhs,” the song is world-inspired, spinning on an adrenaline-induced cusp of discomfort and ecstasy. Staccato strings fill the background, as ethereal keyboards create screeches and hiccups, both pleasant and dissonantly haunting. Meanwhile, a chorus of flutes lead the song along and the percussion section deconstructs itself, morphing from a straight-forward rock beat into something much more experimental.

“Cripple Creek Ferry” is similar, in that it’s more of a soundscape despite its lyrical content. It’s also bizarre, but fascinatingly so. Traces of a didgeridoo, tribal drums, and dissonant, electronic static make the song much darker, and yet, the first half of the song makes you feel as though you’re in a fairy tale. Also, they use a vibraslap, a ridiculous percussion instrument at first only believed to be cool in Cake and Ozzy Osbourne songs.

Flyaway Garden is indeed a tricky album to love: it’s intended to be intimate, and in this way, a close listen is a must. There are a few amazing songs alongside a few annoyingly filler songs, but overall, if you’re truly going to enjoy it, you have to pay attention. Oh, and put on some damn headphones.

Track List:

  1. Shape
  2. Portrait
  3. Aurora Falls
  4. Whisper
  5. Lifter
  6. Ghum
  7. Setting Stone
  8. Cripple Creek Ferry
  9. Flyaway Garden
  10. Episode
Breakfast In Fur - Flyaway Garden Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

77 / 100
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