Fear Of Men
uk | Label: Kanine Records

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“We are always in the evening,” Jessica Weiss sang on early demo “Doldrums,” a three-minute work of catchy but haunted pop by U.K. indie quartet Fear of Men. This slight lyric, while almost evasive in its ambiguity, managed to set the tone perfectly for the group’s unique approach, equal parts understated pop hooks, 4AD styled shrouds of mystery, and art school existential pondering.

The band was born when Weiss’ ambient short film soundtracks caught the attention of Daniel Falvey at an exhibition of her work. The two arts students found common musical ground through swapping mixtapes and started working under the Fear of Men title toward a more pop focused sound.

Named after a rare anxiety disorder Weiss came across when researching mental illness, Fear of Men became a fitting name for the project, which would be used to explore lyrical themes such as mortality anxiety (what men fear), introversion, and loneliness. The early home demos that resulted from this collaboration began circulating on a number of notable blogs and music websites and the band released a slew of demo tapes and 7″s on various DIY labels which were collected together by Kanine for the acclaimed compilation ‘Early Fragments’, intended to introduce the band to North America. This led to a packed SXSW schedule for Fear of Men’s first shows in the US, which included playing the Fader Fort and the Gorilla Vs. Bear showcase, Festival NRML in Mexico and FYF Fest in LA.

On ‘Loom’, the band’s much anticipated debut album, Fear of Men took the time to experiment with contrasting fidelity and dense textures, inspired by their claustrophobic subterranean studio surroundings and nocturnal recording sessions. Weiss and Falvey bring an excited, obsessional sense of devotion to every aspect of the project; self-producing their music, creating all artwork and directing videos, they shape every aspect of the Fear of Men aesthetic.

Rather than simply marrying a handful of influences, Fear of Men designs their music from an almost uncomfortably personal place. Weiss broadcasts crippling disconnection, boredom and sexual dread with all the dour verve of a young Morrissey. The band flit between dire philosophical observations and listless melancholia, riding melodies so carefree that anguished sentiments come off more like lazy sighs. The songs owe as much to the writing of Anais Nin or Fassbinder’s films as they do to the cold sonic atmospheres of the Chills or Broadcast.

The title of the album both alludes to the interweaving textures that run throughout the record and references the darkness that hovers above much of Fear of Men’s output. Classical instrumentation appears throughout ‘Loom’, warped and distorted alongside musical saws and backwards guitars, giving a sense of the imperfect to the album’s pristine pop melodies.

A limited, deluxe two-colored vinyl edition of “Loom” will be released by Kanine Records on Record Store Day. The digital and CD release will follow April 21, 2014 in the UK and April 22, 2014 in the US.
Fear of Men is Jessica Weiss (Guitar & Vocals), Daniel Falvey (Guitar), Michael Miles (Drums, Keys) joined live by Becky Wilkie (Bass). 



Kanine Records(2014)