Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fenech-Soler signs with Warner Brothers' B-Unique

Borne of a true faith in pop and fermented in the spirit of self-determination, Fenech-Soler’s radio-friendly nous and festival verve has delivered an explosive sound set to take the Earth by storm. Nominated for Q Magazine’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Award, Fenech-Soler are raring to take on 2011 with their new single Demons, out March 15th on B-Unique. Having already climbed to the top of the charts across our shores in Europe, this fine and feisty British foursome are setting their sights on the US with a new single, video and debut full-length due later this year.

Demons -- the first single to be released in the US -- is a dizzying shot of Parisian synths and pop melody, a typically immediate tale of late night confusion and self doubt, propelled with urgent dance floor beats.

Having independently released their first single 'Stop & Stare' in May 2010 in the UK, the track firmly put these lads on the map, prompting BBC Radio 1 airplay, and reaching the Top 10 of the Dance and Indie singles charts, Fenech-Soler soon signed to Warner Brothers' label B-Unique for the release of their debut album.

Fenech-Soler are a band who have overcome everything to be here, and have done so in their own way. They have honed and shined their sparkling songs, entirely by themselves, in their tiny bedrooms. They have taken their dreams to the disco and the Radio 1 playlist on their own terms. They even captivated legendary bands and DJs long before the record companies came knocking.

Pop began for Fenech-Soler in Kings Cliffe, a village of a thousand people in the hinterlands of Northamptonshire. It began with two brothers, Ben and Ross Duffy, who made music as teenagers with their friend Daniel Soler, whose surname would later play a bigger part in their lives. Their burgeoning love affairs with dance and club music – with The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Soulwax, and SMD – suddenly gained sharper edges and became fully-formed. They wrote electronic tracks together on their laptops and synthesisers, infusing them with the spirits of these artists they loved, but also other diverse artists like George Benson, N.E.R.D, R&B vocal group The Whispers, Michael Jackson and Queens Of The Stone Age. They aimed to write songs that would be club and festival anthems – songs that would have a crowd rising as one, singing their words back to them – with enough experimental edges to push them in new, bold directions.

From here, the boys brought in another friend, Andrew Lindsay, adding live drums and synths to the mix, and turning their music into living, breathing sound. As the sun broke through the clouds in the summer of 2008, Fenech-Soler was christened, were anointed, were born. Taking Daniel’s longer family surname as inspiration – also the name of a Maltese patriot who ruled the Catalans in the 18th century – they knew it could mean anything and everything. In its four shining syllables, a spirit of fantasy that the band all believed in, and the music they made could now shape the meaning of their name. Fenech-Soler summed up the essence of these four dear friends, working together at home, but reaching out into the world.

And then, as the music industry started to shatter around them, they put the pieces together in a new way. They played tiny clubs and sets to build up their live reputations, sending tracks to radio stations, certain that their music would hit a nerve. Word spread like wildfire. Legendary French DJ and remixer Alan Braxe, who scored an international hit with Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You, fell in love with them, and asked to release one of their songs. The Cult Of Romance would be their first single and Radio 1’s Annie Mac, would feature the track on her 2009 compilation. Groove Armada saw the band at a Warehouse party, adored what they were doing and took them on tour. They even featured Ben as a lead vocalist on the single Paper Romance, placing him alongside stars like Bryan Ferry on the new album Black Light.

Fenech-Soler are Pop.The short, sharp shock, the crystal clear hook, the line, the melody, the rhythm, that snags, soothes then snares. Pop never lets us go. It is in the heart and the soul of four boys who come from a place that they call the middle of nowhere, all of them following a path that many have travelled before. Unashamed and unrelenting, they know how pop works, how it always yearns for the future, how it reaches for the heavens. Fenech-Soler’s album grew from this spirit, taking the band’s radio-friendly nous to unexpected places.

Battlefields begins the album with a blast, launching with a heavenly chorus of voices, before shooting into stratospheres of glistening synths and dirty brass. Lies rises slowly from the deep, a tale of lust and paranoia that becomes a glittery explosion of foot-stomping melancholy.

Golden Sun plays with rhythms that summon up the sultriness of desert heat; The Great Unknown takes a distant echo of French house in new, dizzying directions. And Stop And Stare is their club and festival anthem ready and waiting, full of twitchy, urgent riffs, and hands-to-the-air vitality. It is the sound of a band at the starting gate, ready to fire their gun.

Fenech-Soler are ready to take over your mind, turn the dial up on your radio, and beam the light of the sun to the dancefloor. Pop is this.

'Demons EP' OUT 3/15/11


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