Last year we were introduced to Texas trio Fanclub who landed on the dreampop scene with three singles of catchy electronic tinged dreampop. Some bands take years to settle in and find their distinct sound, but Fanclub appeared fully formed last year right from their debut single “Leaves”.
Formed after Mike Lee‘s former band, Letting Up Despite Great Faults went on indefinite hiatus, he teamed up Leslie Crunkilton to start writing new songs. After suffering heartache and a death in the family, the pair converted their tragedies into creative energy and recruited former Letting Up drummer Daniel Schmidt to round out the band.
All the Same collects their three singles from 2018 with two new tracks that broadens Fanclub‘s repertoire to include a slightly more guitar oriented sound. Opener “Stranger” lays Fanclub‘s cards on the table with upbeat rhythms, retro sounding synths and the occasional telecaster melody breaking through like a ray of sunshine. Leslie’s vocals are sugary sweet and are reminiscent of classic twee pop but with hints of melancholy as well. On “Leaves” she’s ponders what’s wrong with the town she’s lived in while Lee livens up the arrangement with ’80s style synth flourishes. The first of the new songs “Swear” features some more prominent guitars and builds to a euphoric chorus where Leslie croons “I want to be yours” sounding simultaneously hopeful with a trace of sadness.
The wistful tenor continues on “Reflections” with candid lyrics about a overcoming the flaws in a relationship while Lee manages a simple, but effect synth riff over the EPs most impressive drum workout. Finale “Dreamers” is a tweepop nostalgia trip from its opening guitar chords down to its programmed hand claps and appropriately dreamy vocals from Leslie. The production is relatively understated throughout, relying on simple motifs and melodies which really lets Leslie‘s vocals stand out while always giving the listener some catchy hook to hang on to. Surprisingly few bands within the dreampop genre have incorporated electronic influences as well as Fanclub and they are quickly carving out a niche for themselves. Despite its name the All the Same EP shows Fanclub capable of writing interesting and unique songs that sets this band apart from the pack.
Highlights: Leaves, Swear, Stranger
For Fans of: Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Depreciation Guild, Alpaca Sports