Les Jumeaux

Feathercut

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Officially released under the band's Les Jumeaux (French for "the twins," unsurprisingly!) identity, Feathercut came about as a chance for the Humberstones to explore more dance-oriented sides of their music which they felt were distinct from work done as ITN. As perhaps an emphasis of this, neither Dolores Marguerite nor Q appear anywhere on the album, though some time collaborator Dee de Rocha does contribute lyrics and singing. The opening title track, a fine ambient-inflected piece, gives a good indication of the album as a whole; while the mix of string synth and piano has the ITN feel to it. Overall things are gentler, with the dance touches that might be buried a bit in the mix on an official ITN release -- electronic drum pulses, keyboard loops, and clearly synth (as opposed to synth as orchestral piece) parts -- given a greater prominence. One or two tracks aside, Feathercut's feel is relaxing rather than the high drama of ITN's regular releases; it makes for a solid contrast as a result. One of the more interesting influences that crops up throughout is dub; while the production touches are light, it can still definitely be heard on such songs as "Carroussella," "Miracle Road," and "Late Poem." Perhaps unsurprisingly as a result, de Rocha's singing on the first two tracks slightly echoes the work of similarly dub-influenced groups as Massive Attack. The experimentation with rhythm ITN regularly explores logically surfaces here as well; "Cyflo" is a good example, with a variety of sounds providing extra percussion over a bass sequencer loop. While not as strong as the best of ITN's albums, Feathercut still has a lot going for it as a pleasant listening experiences, and more importantly, can stand alone rather than simply being heard as a side project.

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