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Fontana Instincts - Carousel

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 9 / 9 / 2012

Fontana Instincts - Carousel
Label: West of the Sun Records
Format: CD


Versatile and rewarding debut album from Derbyshire-based Americana/indie trio, the Fontana Instincts

The Fontana Instincts consists of Tom Campbell, Jim Widdop and Magdalena Komorowska, and hail from Derbyshire. I couldn't believe that it was the band’s first offering, the content being that good. It sounds like a third, the sound being so rich and complete. They label themselves as Americana/indie. It doesn't seem surprising when you listen to the tracks that they also take in influences from Bob Marley through to Deep Purple, so diverse is the sound in places. ‘Carousel’ seems to concentrate on all sorts of relationships in their different stages and combines this with excerpts from everyday life. References to failed relationships, imminent break ups, chance meetings and dreams of future liaisons litter the disc from start to finish, and are a good account of today's trials and tribulations. The disc kicks off with an eerie guitar sound drifting around your head like a demented wasp. It reminded me of Neil Finn at first before lead singer Tom got deeper into it and let his own unique voice shine through. 'Our David', the first single to come from this blindingly good CD, is an upbeat affair which tells the story of its lead character well. 'Forgotten Almost' introduces the silky, sultry vocals of Magdalena. Brilliantly complementing Campbell's she glides her way through this atmospheric, heavier offering with lyrics such as “Lonely/only like a ghost, I'm forgotten almost.” Driving on in a faster vein, 'Bad Apple’ seems to be biting back at someone “always not enough to be the apple of my eye”, before we are transported to the beach and the heady sound of 'San Antonio'. This one has you melting into the sunset on a slide guitar-ridden dreamboat. 'Stop the Car' takes us back to the uncomfortable silence we have all endured when we know that a relationship is about to breathe its last breath (“'Stop the car I'd sooner walk”). With its wonderful melody and harmonies, it is yet another example of a track you could hear on the radio anytime. The achingly romantic 'Millie' is sandwiched between the country sounding 'Room for Me' and the almost 'Call Me' sound at the start of 'Miss Muldoon', where we find our hero struggling to make his move in a chance meeting with the perfect girl whilst browsing in a record shop. Afterwards we are treated to the thoughts about a girl that seems to have to always be the centre of attention in 'Clowns'. One of the strongest tracks on ‘Carousel’ is the fast-tempoed 'There's a Girl', which is about a girl, who always seems to be there for our hero but they never quite get it on. The CD ends on the 'Southbank' with its haunting guitar work. There is a great mix of harmonies and tempos on this, and it is a good mix of life chances and situations. The sound of it in places is like being stirred up in a jar of honey so you get those little bubbles drifting dreamily around the glass until you pull yourself out, shut the lid and get grooving on the top. Grand stuff from the Derby trio.

Track Listing:-
1 Night & Day
2 Our David
3 Forgotten Almost
4 Bad Apple
5 San Antonio
6 Stop The Car
7 Room For Me
8 Millie
9 Miss Muldoon
10 Clowns
11 There's A Girl
12 Southbank

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