When a band releases two albums in two consecutive years, there are a couple usual expectations: first that the music will sound exactly the same. Song titles might be different, there might be some new melodies or rhythms, but the overall sound and quality of the albums will generally be the same. The second expectation is that the music will be completely different, and usually this is a bad thing. There are some bands, however, that are somehow capable of releasing a new album that is both different and the same in terms of their sound, and these are the bands worth loving. Enter Fur Eel.
Fur Eel’s 2011 release Elephant Summer received huge critical acclaim and praise, and after spreading their wings (and music) across Canada, they wasted no time in releasing both an acoustic album (Naked, 2012) and their newest album Perhaps Another Time.
Released in June 2012, Perhaps Another Time is a step in the right direction for Fur Eel. It’s slightly more mature, a bit less synthesized, and a huge demonstration of the band’s abilities. Like their first release, this album brings the ’70s funk, bouncing and grooving along to get the audience dancing, but the band seems to have brought a whole new level of skill to this recording. These tracks are finely polished, thoughtfully written and richly produced, and it’s obvious right away that the band has been working hard to develop even greater talent. Songs have more cross-generational and universal appeal, and with some great diversity between tracks and a number of different influences, Perhaps is an album that will appeal to everyone.
A great thing about Fur Eel is the balance they bring to their music. All band members get equal playing time and guitar licks are used sparingly and unobtrusively, making them cooler, awesome and a lot more enjoyable. They also include some great brass solos on a number of their tracks, featuring sax and trumpet and really funking up the album with sweet bass lines. The album’s like a time machine, taking you back to days of upbeat funk on tracks like “Elephant Summer” and “Smooth City” and Pink Floyd-like psychedelic rock on tracks like “Black Mountain”. If you like Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tv On The Radio and Talking Heads, you will definitely love this album.
The best thing about this album? You can have it for free. Fur Eel decided to do something amazing with this release by making it available for download on their website and you really need to take advantage of it! With the waves they’re already making and the huge critical attention they’ve received, it won’t be long before they’re absolutely huge. Download the album immediately and send the link to all your friends. Once you do that, check out their show schedule; Fur Eel is always touring, and with shows across Canada this summer you need to put on your dancing shoes and see them.
Yes, Fur Eel is for real, and Perhaps Another Time is arguably one of the best Canadian releases of 2012. More info is always available on their website, Facebook and Twitter, so follow them obsessively and spread the word. If they’re already this good on their sophomore album, imagine how far they’re going to go.