The debut album from UK band Feorm is remarkable, not just in sound and quality but its ability to inspire and draw out images and emotions through each of its twelve pieces of pure and emotive music. The Norfolk based instrumental collective with their self titled release explore and reach deeper with their organic and instinctive sounds than most other bands who labour over them in time and effort. Not that Feorm has rushed or brought a complete focus and attention to their work, they just grasp the essence and spark of their compositions immediately. Feorm bassist, Allan Murray quoted about the recording, “A musical idea is never more pure than the very first time it is expressed, and that is what we tried to capture.” Tried and succeeded in doing as proven by Feorm.
The quintet of Allan Murray (bass), Brett Cooper (drums, percussion), Paul Corcoran (electric guitars), Andrew Lynch (acoustic & electric guitars), and Pete Warren (synths, samples , fx), over a series of recording sessions in a barn deep in the East Anglian countryside came up with the tracks that make up the album. Simply the band played, inspired by and exploring their existing appreciation for the art of improvised and unrehearsed music. Their deeply varied musical backgrounds genre wise were merged without planned definition as they met the challenge of bringing their diverse sounds into the emerging brew of music and its evolving life. It sounds so simple and only the band knows how easy or intense it was but the music that flows through the album is an impressive outcome and that is the important knowledge.
Released via Fen Tiger the release does not come over as something openly experimental which maybe with its premise and idea one would imagine, instead it flows with pieces of music that feel like they have always been and were meant to be. Maybe there has been plenty of production applied after the recording but if so one can sense that the essence and core of each song has grown from the initial seed and idea with a pure organic breath and heart. Many artists try to improvise and many succeed but it is hard to remember those that have borne music as instinctive and complete as the songs here. There are no loose flapping edges or uncontrolled unwilling elements that stand out, each piece is a seamless impactful and emotional discovery which one can immerse within to varying depths and results.
Each piece deserves a mention and investigation but we will choose just a few tracks to try and bring forth the excellence of the album and leave the rest for your own discoveries. The opening Munc The Grover begins the album with a warm and inviting series of melodies and vibrant sounds. It is slightly withdrawn in that it does not leap out at the ear but chooses to envelope and persuade with a full and firm charm. It is persistent without being demanding and though it does not light up the thoughts it ignites the desire to dive deeper into the album.
Man Is An Island follows with a totally different approach. The track begins with a disturbed ambience that evolves into an almost estranged atmospheric soundscape. The music strolls across the senses with a surety and confident air but behind it there is always a distilled menace seemingly lurking, a haunting shadow that waits and picks at thoughts. As with many of the songs and maybe inspired by the recording location, there is a sense of solitude either in place or heart seeping out from the music. Definitely people with find different thoughts and feelings being instigated by the album, but it is the fact it does no matter their experience is the wonderful thing.
The album’s best track The Long Drop is another that suggests solitude though not loneliness. The tanned harmonica melodies send shots of warmth through the ear whilst the guitars caress and coax the heart into a full engagement. The song basks in thoughts of an evening sunset, golden with burning skies that inspire and chase off any thoughts of being alone, the sound and emotions wrapped in a tender emotive glow.
Tracks like Sun Dogs with its seductive melancholic bass sound and the powerfully atmospheric The Sea as well as the hypnotic Cyclick with its unrelenting pulse, all stir up and evoke feelings and imagery, though that can be applied to every song in varying degrees. Taken as a whole or split into individual pieces Feorm works wonderfully and is a fulfilling and welcome release that stays inside long after its sounds depart.