by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Follies mastermind Phil Hartunian is one of those rare musicians whose name alone usually speaks of a certain quality. Find him in the credits of your favorite weird folk-accented indie DIY record and you know you're in store for something good. Having relocated from Vermont to Los Angeles since the release of the Jeeze Louise EP back in 2015, the band return with Still Life, a new record that captures the band's experimental side in vignettes of home recorded lo-fi and hazy atmospheres that lend themselves to Follies' scrappy Americana charm (think early Modest Mouse meets Dreamend). The songs are all contorted into lush arrangements that thrive on empty spaces and unpredictability.
The band - Hartunian, Henry Kwapis (Dessert), Alex Fischel (Spoon), Patrick Kelly (Superet), and Olivia Kaplan - are sharing "Pride," the record's second single, a dark and hazy introduction to their tape machine recorded bliss. Jangling in a detached manner, Follies drift from airy melancholy to a rhythmically dense mess, stumbling brilliantly between layers of clarinet, vocals, and twangy melodies. Hartunian laments for "stolen pride french fries" as the woodwinds careen into plinks of piano and distorted guitars, creating something like a puddle... in the most satisfying kind of ways.
Follies' Still Life is out March 30th.