The tags on the Soundcloud page for Fulton Read’s newest single, “Like a Wave,” are quite varied. “Powerpop,” “indie pop,” “alternative,” “piano rock,” and “psychedelic,” the page proclaims, and one is left to wonder how all of these things could co-exist.
And yet co-exist they do. There’s the overwhelming rhythmic piano of a Ben Folds Five song being totally distorted by the same phaser effect as on the 1968 psychedelic classic “Rainbow Chaser” from the British Nirvana. The main melody sounds like a cross between the sugary goodness of the New Pornographers and the bizarre hooks of the Super Furry Animals. The pure pop never feels too empty, though, because there’s always some other interesting element going on.
Fulton Read’s strength on “Like a Wave” is to never be content staying in the same place for too long. For the bridge, they don’t merely change the chord progression, they alter the entire style of the song into a chugging, distorted alt-rock piece. And it works! They come in and out of the section so naturally that it seems like exactly the right thing for the moment, even though it totally shouldn’t work on paper.
Fulton Read’s band mission is a fascinating one. Led by Anthony Erickson (founder of the Eye in the Sky collective) and Stephen Duffy, they are dedicated to interacting with their audience in as many ways as possible. The group is committed to giving away their music for free, and also to incorporating audience participation in their songwriting process. It will be interesting to see how this effects their upcoming album, You and I, which is slated for a Spring 2014 release. It’s set to be a fairly sprawling effort, totaling around 20 tracks in all.
If Fulton Read is able to maintain the energy and joy in “Like a Wave,” then You and I should be an endlessly rewarding experience. “Like a Wave” holds up on repeat listens and (re-)introduces Austin to some major talents. Enjoy the exclusive premiere of this great track.
– Carter Delloro