FUR - Facing Home Mixtape Review

Label: Self-released

Release Date: 31st July 2020

Rating: 10/10

The mixtape has a joyful feel; the band successfully create full textures despite the lack of external production.

'Facing Home Mixtape' artwork.

Recorded entirely during lockdown, FUR’s Facing Home Mixtape is their second release in as many months. It offers seven new songs which form an exciting evolution in the band’s signature meaningful lyrics and nostalgic sound.

Murray, the band’s lead songwriter, described the Facing Home Mixtape as “7 tracks, each giving their own angle on the FUR sound”. I’d have to agree - the band’s signature style is still very clear, but you can really hear the progression of their sound in this mixtape. It’s more stripped back than their studio-recorded music and relies less on prominent guitar riffs like previous singles ‘What Would I Do?’ and ‘All My Dreams’.

The mixtape opens with ‘17 to 8’ with a strong drum beat and building texture combine with the lyrics “I wrote down the names of people/ I would rather have spent a year beside than you/ and there were none” to create a heartfelt ode to a failing relationship. There’s a swing beat in ‘A Song to Let you Know I Can’t Stay Here’, and even some spoken sections in ‘Existential Crisis in G Major’, which add a new element to FUR’s sound.

The band’s classic influences present themselves clearly in the mixtape, such as in ‘Close the Curtain’, which has an almost bluesy, country feel, akin to Johnny Cash. The slower, lolling ‘You’ is very reminiscent of the Beach Boys (specifically ‘Little Surfer Girl’); the guitar in the intro to ‘A Song to Let you Know I Can’t Stay Here’ sounds similar to the Beatles; and ‘Can’t Wait Until The Day Comes’ typifies the 60s garage rock sound that we’re used to from the band.

The mixtape has a joyful feel; the band successfully create full textures despite the lack of external production, and, as always, Murray’s distinctive voice makes the reflective lyrics sound relaxed and nostalgic.

Facing Home ends with ‘Close the Curtain’, which is the best song on the mixtape. With lyrics such as “the light in life’s too bright/ so I close the curtain and I wait/ until that dark day comes/ and the feeling that it’s all too late”, there’s a stark contrast between the dark despondency of the words Murray croons and the whistling melody which wouldn’t sound out of place over the end credits of a Western film.

The Facing Home Mixtape shows fans just how much the band has grown since their first releases in 2017, and brings a new dimension to the FUR sound which I am excited to see progress. I ‘Can’t Wait Until the Day Comes’ when they release their debut album!

Words by Serafina Kenny.

6th August 2020.

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