Fol Chen makes the soundtrack to a future that never was. To listen is to leave the comfort of nostalgia and land with both feet in a bolder 21st century. The False Alarms (Asthmatic Kitty, March 19) continues the band’s electro-pop odyssey with a honed character and a distinct palette of sounds. Fol Chen has also traded its cloak of anonymity for defiant confidence featuring Sinosa Loa as its new front voice.
Since 2009, the Los Angeles-area collective has created their signature sound from field recordings and an electronic junk drawer, building compound beats and sending warped vocal transmissions. Led by producers Samuel Bing and Julian Wass, Fol Chen’s first two records, PART I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made (Asthmatic Kitty, 2009) and PART II: The New December (Asthmatic Kitty, 2010), cemented the band’s place as peddlers of dark pop in the alleys of independent music. Their live entity has a wide artistic reach with a propensity for interactive projects like the Tetrafol, a motion-based sound toy developed with musical interface pioneers Monome. Band events have been presented at sites such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Annenberg Space for Photography, and the Walker Art Center.
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