Ten Fé: Perfect, Present Tense

review ten fe x1 cong

It’s a glorious moment when you get new music that you instantly need to play over and over. So we can’t really review Ten Fé’s new one in any objective sense: it’s marvellous from start to finish.

Within two beats of opener Won’t Happen starting it’s obvious this is a good new album, the strummed guitar promising much before the bass thumbs in then and sparkling guitar, followed by the softly sung vocals. A bit psychedelic, a bit indie and the bass a bit Gnarls Barkley. It’s both fresh and got a retro feel — Sniff And The Tears / Sad Cafe came to mind. It’s catchy, a good bass line driving it along and second guitar break itself bassy.

Isn’t Ever A Day opens with drums and then a great bass line, the song both downbeat and cheerful, vocals more lugubrious than the opener, and a chorus to love. Comparison: a bit Death Cab For Cutie. The closing bars set up a groove you never want to end.

No Night Lasts Forever is one of the weaker songs — in that it brings no new tricks to the table, but is still good enough to be a single. It’s got the hypnotic feel of Alphabetical era Phoenix while Coasting offers nothing more than being an impeccable pop song with a singalong chorus.

Echo Park is better, more bass and a laid-back feel, and a guitar solo that wold sound at home in a 70s soul classic.

Caught On The Inside is half way through the album and pretty much seven minutes of bliss, with horn added to the sound and a long closing section that’s got the same feel as Steve Harley’s Come Up And See Me.

We’re always thinking bands are going to be big (then surprised when it’s Clean Bandit that actually makes it) but if Ten Fé aren’t on a par with Death Cab fairly soon, we’ll be sorely disappointed.


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