French Semester -‘Good Friends Only I Could See’ (Self-released)
This sophomore release is absolutely gorgeous. On the basis of two tracks ‘My Old Hands’ and ‘Backwards Rolling’ I fell hard and fast for this band. They sent me the CD from LA, and it’s set to become one of the albums of the year. ‘Indie pop’ and ‘Psychedelic indie’ are phrases that are banded around so casually across the blogosphere that they threaten to lose their meaning at times.
But not here. This album is lean -ten tracks in thirty minutes, and it does not disappoint, or waste any space. Influences include Syd Barrett and Guided By Voices. Like those two acts, THe French Semester can write pop songs that are experimental, and show that the two do not have to be worlds apart.
In a world of indie by numbers, and where people feel that mining 1982 is the closest we can get to innovation in 2009, the French Semester might seem to be out there on their own. They’re not. They’re leading the pack, kickstarting the assault. If you liked The shins -irrespective of whether or not you heard them through Garden State, you will love the French Semester.
And that’s a promise.
French Semester -‘Backwards Rolling.’ mp3
French Semester -‘My Old Hands.’ mp3
Good Friends Only I Could See is out now.