The natural tendency when listening to new music is to automatically compare it to something else: “Who does this sound like?” Sometimes this comparison is easy. There might be a clear influence to the sound or perhaps a common element or theme that can be easily compared to some popular artist. It’s the other music, the type without the clear comparison, that really stands out.
Fur Eel is one of these incomparable bands. Part rock, part funk, part baby-making groove, the band has gone against expectations to bring back some retro soul, a very cool experience in both their live show and their album, “Elephant Summer“. Officially released in 2011, the album has taken Fur Eel from their hometown of Regina to venues across Western Canada, all leading to a cross-Canada tour later this year.
All the way through, the album is completely cool to listen to. You might also hear some Prince or David Bowie, and Calgarians might think of the former Kronic Groove Band. It’s a mix of sounds with fantastic chemistry, really smooth melodies and a bouncy rhythm that moves everything along. Everything fits: drums, bass, guitar, and vocals seem made for each other, while the rawness of the album lends to an eyes-closed, oddly sensual funkiness that really grabs your attention. Imagine yourself grooving on a dark dance floor during “Sting” or “When We Feel Alone”, or show off some fancier moves in the more upbeat “Entertainaz”. Whatever mood you’re in, Fur Eel has something for you. They’re just that good.
It’s easy to listen to this album for hours in full concentration or as background music, and while the tracks all fit together as a collection of songs, they’re varied enough to repel the boredom or monotony you might get with other albums. These are great songs on a well-mixed album, and definitely worth checking out. For a taste, you can hear a few tracks on their website, but better yet, buy the album and get out to a live show.
Fur Eel is playing February 18 at The Distillery in Calgary. Do you want to go? Of course you do. This is a wicked four-piece that is a welcome and timely break from the usual drudge, and in the tail end of winter, nothing is more appreciated than some funky beats. Fur Eel: they’re for real, and they’re spectacular.