SINGLE REVIEW: "LIGHT PORCELAIN" BY FEHLT
Elegant as always but now charged with a punk drive, Leeds art-rock quintet Fehlt return to the fray with their pulsing anxiety on “Light Porcelain”.
Fehlt are a band of beauty. Pairing intricate post-punk guitars and hypnotic rhythm sections with stunningly thought-through visuals the Leeds band have created a haunting image that proves enigmatic and visceral. Coming into the world as the brainchild of multimedia artist Ewan Barr, Fehlt came to life in 2020 with their expertly crafted single “Closure” and their reimagining of Sebadoh’s “Spoiled”. Pairing their music with self-designed cassette tapes, live visuals, and an intentionally distorted band image, the group quickly showed themselves as a project brimming with intent. Sadly, with the never-ending state of pandemic that the world was plunged into, the band faced canceled tours and went seemingly dormant. However, returning now with their latest single “Light Porcelain”, the band raise hopes that the world will once again enjoy their brilliance.
Cutting straight through with an unearthly violin passage fit for an A24 horror flick, Fehlt set the stage for their trademark kraut rhythms and tangled guitar lines. Clearly motivated to return in full force post-pandemic, the band emerge with a raw and driven pulse that channels the post-punk stylings of artists such as Preoccupations and Crack Cloud. In hushed vocals we hear the group’s first collaboration with fellow Leeds dream-pop artist Boshe. A surprising collaboration given Boshe’s penchant for laptop-based composition compared to Fehlt’s guitar-driven instrumentation, the pairing luckily feels meant to be when their harmonies float through as if haunting the world we inhabit.
Floating out just as quickly as she enters, though, Boshe’s voice leaves us as Barr steps forward out of the dulcet harmonies channeling the spoken word stride of Public Service Broadcasting. With an authority that propels the track alongside his ever-marching rhythm section, Barr’s voice is a perfect pairing for the continuously overlapping arpeggiated guitars and harmonically enriched bass performances. As the track winds through knotting sections of highs and lows, with dynamics shifting and strings moving plaintively, it becomes clear that the quintet are just as enrapturing as always. Melancholic and wistful, intricate and compelled, and beautifully thought-through, Fehlt evidence that they have only gone from strength to strength since their debut.
Photography and Music Video by Ewan Barr