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Ian Fays - The Damon Lessons

  by Sarah Rowland

published: 10 / 12 / 2006

Ian Fays - The Damon Lessons
Label: Homesleep Records
Format: CD


Unusual, but brilliant mix of whispering vocals and happy Casio style keyboard tunes on debut album from Californian group, the Ian Fays

What really stands out about this record is the unusual mix of whispering smoky vocals and the jolly Casio style keyboard tunes. Both are equally strong elements and at times seem to fight for the spotlight, but strangely enough this doesn’t detract from the record at all. Sara Fay, Lizz Fay, Samantha Fay, Bradley Fay and Lena Fay combine to make quirky original tunes that have elements of electro and indie and folk. Against a back drop of guitar and drum machine each song glides across the room with an awkwardness that is strangely charming. 'Pink Sheets' is one example of the struggle for power between vocals and instruments, but once the chorus slips into the mix the struggle melts away and vocals and instruments dance hand in hand. There are some amazing sounds on this record. A lot of them come from the different settings on the keyboard, but even so each song is like a lucky dip. 'I Lifted Myself Up'has everything from hip hop drum beats to spaced out keyboard notes. 'The Boyfriend Song' introduces glockenspiel which works well with the bitter sweet lyrics and makes this one of the stand out tracks on the album. 'Hotel' takes the record in another direction, and is as you would expect a smoky lyriced song to start, with swayful guitar and a gentle wispy feel. From here the songs loose some of their quirky charm as the keyboard takes a back seat. This is a surprise but not a bad one as each song is still charged with energy and has a willowy grace. 'All The Phones Are Broken' continues this theme with an acoustic song that breaks out into dizzy beats and organ at the close. Finishing off with a secret track the album goes full circle and lets loose on the drum machine and the keyboard with a hidden recording waiting to remind you of everything that is brilliant about this album.

Track Listing:-
1 Empty Alcohol Bottle
2 The Dance Song
3 Pink Sheets
4 I Lifted Myself Up
5 The Woo Woo Song
6 Peppermint Schnapps
7 The Boyfriend Song
8 Hotel
9 Stuck and Slow
10 All the Phones Are Broken in This House, Sir
11 Barrettes
12 4 Months
13 It's Okay to Use the F-Word in a Break-Up Song
14 16 Weeks
15 The Woo Woo Song (Remix)
16 Secret Track

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