Album Review: Fred’s House – Bonnie and Clyde

Fred's House

Fred’s House have been rapidly extending their reach on the folk rock scene in recent months and as anyone who bore witness to their spectacular set at our Artree Live show can testify; they will be extending that reach a lot further and with good cause.

Bonnie & Clyde is the debut album for the band after several live recordings and short EPs which are in high demand among their ever-growing legion of fans. It has been eagerly anticipated and that anticipation has been paid off tenfold. Fred’s House have a playful feeling to their work that makes it so light and easy to listen to. This is often in a perfect contrast since they also have a wonderful ability to keep a gentle clutch on your heartstrings whilst they make you sing and dance. You are held with a very gentle grip as they never allow any of their music to become too maudlin yet pepper some of them with just a hint of melancholia – just enough to make you understand that there are stories behind the words, not simply a song to wash over you. Skin and Bone is a heart-breaking but remarkably uplifting and inspirational tale of illness while Grown up a Little is a touching tale of lost contacts. These songs touch your feelings without an overpowering, cloying sense of emotion where so many others have gone wrong in music.

And these more gentle songs are complimented exquisitely by wonderfully bubbly and uplifting songs such as Beautiful You and Standing Next to Me. The music is phenomenal to say the least as the band play one of the tightest, most carefully composed collection songs you could hope to find. There’s not a chord out of place as each song has been polished to total perfection before it meets your ears. The artful basslines meet with soaring guitar medleys and insatiable drumbeats bringing to life an exciting and bountiful sound that regularly bursts forth to wind itself deeply into your mind and move your feet.

Complimenting their music perfectly is a vocal tour de force that simply cannot be reckoned with. Leading the band is Griff, whose sweet, tender vocals layer each song with a kindly atmosphere; promptly backing him up is Vix with her soulful, resonant and compassionate vocals which make the songs of Fred’s House completely incomparable from anything else. The album is filled with truly breathtaking songs but not content to simply have two incredible singers they also wisely utilise the vocal styling’s of their enigmatic bassist Gafyn. Combined, their honey-sweet harmonies are so fantastical that you could happily listen all night before even hearing them play a chord.

Bonnie & Clyde is the long-awaited debut full-length album from the band and you simply couldn’t ask for a better introduction. Tender and funny by turns, the album plucks at your heartstrings without pulling too hard and ignites a fire in your heart with each and every note. There is no doubt that this CD should be on your shelf right now.

For more information on Fred’s House, check out their site here:

http://fredshousemusic.co.uk/

Joe Knipe