New York based four-piece Fovea, combine jazz, pop, ambient and psychedelia on their debut album – Pencil Me In, with a lot more going on that simply meshing these genres together. They play with it and never take anything they do too seriously, and what they do is good. Some of the time changes and over all musical ideas are complex but never uptight, and that’s where some of the pop influence shows. They can go just about everyone you can go within a song, and they all swing with moxie and pizazz. They work wonders collaborating-together without seeming to even know it.
This band make it hard to know what they’re singing about, but that just makes it all-the more interesting than they already are.
The album opens with “Boss Boy” and at first it sounds very electronica oriented, but that eases up after the intro and a song is born. It has a melancholy approach until things go up a notch and the chorus really-makes for a good strong cut to get the album started. Both males and female voices pair together remarkably, and that continues-on “Don’t Play” with a whole different world of sounds in tow. This is a track with a lot more jazz coming through than expected after starting off so poppy.
Next up is the lead single “Cost Of” and it once again sounds like a completely different band, and that’s a good thing because that is what they do. With no use trying to explain what the song is about, it’s a very spicy number with a sizzling hot keyboard work by both Max Wiegel and Jake DeNicola. It borders on the ‘ambient’ with a slight techno feel playing a role as well. The album seems to follow a concept that only the band are in on, and maybe that’s some of the magic of the songs, but it reaches every intended goal. You don’t hear this every day, and at this point it already calls for looking-into their first EP for more.
“Always” is preceded by some talk to set it up, which goes by the title of “Chiamami.” The two work-completely in contrast, but that’s another curve they’re throwing, of which they do all over the disc.
This is where things get moody for the first time and some drama comes out in the intro, with great drums by DeNicola on what turns out to be a mildly haunting ballad with the vocals of Holley Furlong-Mitchell coming on at their strongest. She has a marvelous voice and knows exactly how to use it in every song. And all the vocals are done particularly well.
“Sent” is probably the most different track on the album, but with the talking throughout, it’s one of the easiest to understand for once. But they still know more than the listener, and they make no secret about that. I see that as playing to themselves and if you get you get it, but if you don’t, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound fantastic, which this whole release does.
It burns right down to the last notes of “Received” the grand finale which contains more talking vocals on what is the highest jazz moment on this entertaining album that shows you don’t have to even know everything about a song to enjoy it.