The New Lines have dropped a new record, Fall in Line, on Moon Glyph, and it's a blissful collection of tunes.
This is hard music to describe and, for lack of a better comparsion, I'll go with The 6ths. There's hints of 1960s acts like The Zombies at their baroque best here. And you can feel bits of Broadcast bobbing to the surface.
Still, Hewson Chen and crew have crafted a really lush and inviting record. And, on all but 3 cuts on Fall in Line, drum-work is provided by Davis White of Lorelei.
Check out that ascending keyboard line on "The Frog Whisperer" and tell me it's not divine and inspiring. A subtle mix of Dif Juz, Durutti Column, Silver Apples, and Magnetic Fields, the tune is, like the rest of this record, something special.
If there's any fault to be found with Fall in Line it's that the songs do seem similar in style. I say that as if it's a bad thing but when you consider the loose concept album form the record is taking, it's something to be admired. Odessey and Oracle is not exactly a grab-bag of styles either. It's very same-y and I'll say that The New Lines are, in their own way, doing something equally special here.
Heck, on "Only The Vulture Knows", The New Lines even sound like they're doing a B-side from that Zombies masterpiece.
On the title track and elsewhere, Hewson Chen and his crew sound like they've been listening to Elephant's Memory too...or at least those early Broadcast EPs which evoked "Old Man Willow" and made you feel like you were hearing something from that party with Joe Buck and Ratzo Rizzo.
Another thing I liked about this record is the instrumentation, and not just Davis White's jazzy, mellowed out Ginger Baker-ish bits on the kit. If you take away the vocals, there's still a lot to absorb here. And even if you like Hewson Chen's vocals as I did, and you don't want to focus on the lyrics or the themes running through the record, Fall in Line still works its beautiful magic.
Fans of Stephen Merritt and Stereolab and any band that took even an ounce of inspiration from those artists would be wise to seek out this new album from The New Lines.
Fall in Line was for me an unexpected surprise full of trippy keyboard lines -- like from an old Radley Metzer film soundtrack -- and subtle, Durutti Column-esque riffs.
Follow The New Lines on their Facebook page: