There’s just something enchanting about Brighton quartet Fur. From their retrogression music videos (the ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ parodying croquet-learning video for ‘Angel Eyes’ being a particular highlight), to their almost magical rise on YouTube, where they’ve been played millions of times and fans go absolutely bananas for them, they’ve been an utter joy to watch evolve into an indie behemoth that, genuinely, could go on to incredibly exciting things across the globe. That’s without mentioning the music, too, which has been near-perfect time and time again.
After four brilliant singles – ‘Trying’, ‘Not Enough’, ‘If You Know That I’m Lonely’ and ‘What Would I Do?’ – took them stratospheric, it was only a matter of time before labels came sniffing around and an EP was on the horizon. That label was Nice Swan, of Sports Team and Pip Blom fame, and the EP is here and it’s, well, everything you could possibly want and need from the quartet. Opening with ‘All My Dreams’ – a jangly pop number we’ve come to expect from the band with a wonderful vaudevillian-style climax – it’s a track that, finally, starts to eschew the 50s for something that sounds far more wholly unique to the band.
Then comes lead single ‘Angel Eyes’ which is, without a doubt, the biggest earworm on the record and, possibly, the best thing the band have done to-date. Frontman Murray sings: “Angel eyes / Why won’t you let me apologise? / Did you forget me and realise / The days go much slower alone?” in a forlorn manner and, once again, the band manage to straddle the line between saccharine and charming superbly. Additionally, Murray has never sounded so good, with his far-reaching range sounding absolutely beautiful on every track. Bewitching and delightful, with a record brimming with the ideas of love and compassion, Fur are a heavenly outfit from tip to toe.
Ending with ‘Love Song For No One’, which could easily slot into Suck it and See Arctic Monkeys or Alex Turner’s Submarine – with lyrics such as: “She’s making a distraction for herself / A momentary relapse means tonight she finally found what she was looking for” equally arousing suspicions of the great Arctic Monkeys frontman. It’s a subtler side to the band than we’ve seen before, but no less eye-catching. An acoustic-led ballad, with frontman Murray’s dulcet tones evoking the likes of Scott Walker, it’s a beautiful ending to a simply awesome record.
Always alluring, with an old-school charm, Fur are the answer to the statement “they don’t make them like they used to”. Old-fashioned 50s doo-wop and rock and roll, with enough modernist tendencies to bring them bang up to date, Fur are one of those outrageous outfits that don’t sound like anyone else in the world. Thus, not only is Fur EP an entirely special thing, indeed, it’s also an utter delight from start to finish.