Monday, 4 April 2016

Single: Follin - Memories

follin Memories Roxy

Follin - Memories

Review by Noël Duplaa

Info: The product of brother/sister duo Madeline Follin (Cults) and Richie James Follin (Guards/Willowz), Follin is a new project standing in stark contrast to the siblings' day jobs. Swapping their guitars for  dark, sparse 80’s tinged electropop, 'Memories' is their second release, following on from February’s 'Roxy'.

Nicolas Winding Refn tells a story about how he finally connected with the protagonist in Drive, with the revelation that "it’s about a man who drives around at night listening to pop music, and that’s his emotional relief." The soundtrack to Drive, and its cornerstone 'A Real Hero', have been massively instrumental in the popularisation of a certain type of 80’s cocaine laced, neon saturated electro pop, characterised by Kraftwerkian highway rhythms, synths that summon images of sports cars reflecting in mirrored skyscrapers, and, as a direct counterpoint to these glacial, controlled elements, heart on sleeve emoting.

And emote they do, or, rather, Madeline does, as she puts a brave face on the devastating effects of a breakup.  Although the lyrics do tend towards the dreaded 'alone/phone' type rhyme schemes, there’s a simple and brutal power in the central question posed, as she wrestles with whether she still has feelings for this absent party, or whether they’re "just memories". Her controlled melodies are carried on a strident beat - a dead ringer for Nine Inch Nails’ standard-bearer 'Closer', - and barely restrained, pulsing synths, as the song drifts along imaginary archetypal nighttime highways. Their established pedigree with both Cults and Guards shows that the Follins know their way around a tune, but this radical shift in approach not only creates an interesting tension from switching out the aural landscape, but also makes an excellent case that we should be very curious about where this project might end up. 

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