Fol Chen – The False Alarms

Album Review by Sam Wiseman | 29 Mar 2013
  • Fol Chen - The False Alarms
Album title: The False Alarms
Artist: Fol Chen
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Release date: 4 April

In the four years of their existence, LA’s Fol Chen have held a month-long residency at the city’s Echo venue, organised collaborative workshops to re-assemble their first two LPs, and created their own instrument, the tetrafol. The collective are evidently not short of ideas or enthusiasm. That spirit is evident in their music, which marries vibrant, sharp-edged dance-pop with a keen lyrical focus. On The False Alarms, their third LP (and first with new singer Sinosa Loa), this mix is maintained, with an occasional nod to darker, industrial influences.

The band have labelled the LP as ‘opera house,’ a pun which neatly captures their mixture of artsy abstraction and infectious silliness, but in truth it doesn’t mark a great sonic or structural shift from earlier work. Nonetheless, Loa’s smooth, crystalline vocals lend a sense of narrative and aesthetic cohesion; as a result, The False Alarms feels like their most accomplished effort yet.