My instinct was to tell you that hey, Phantastic Ferniture isn't how you spell anything, but then I realised I should probably lighten up, 'cos this band make garage rock that's fun and unthinking. Counting Julia Jacklin among their numbers along with Elizabeth Hughes, Ryan K Brennan and Tom Stephens, they create work much different from their solo pet projects, going a bit harder and janglier in their quest for a good time.
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Here’s the latest side-project from songwriting virtuoso Julia Jacklin. A garage band that doubles up as a pun outlet, the ludicrously named Phantastic Ferniture allow her more rockist inclinations to shine, offering songs breezier than we usually get ‘em. Joined by a band comprising Elizabeth Hughes, Ryan K Brennan and Tom Stephens, she fills out a sound that’s lightly punked, offering clear, light songs for your mid-afternoon caffeine uprising.
Garage rock’s the kinda music best made with friends: Phantastic Ferniture sound like they know each other well and want an excuse to goof off together, crafting simple melodies as way of socialising. “Bad Timing” is a lovely song of contented synth and shrugged guitar, the empty space around it sounding like good, healthy air for the gang to bask in. The songs are laissez-faire and then some -- they needn’t be more than a very light hook and a barely-awake rhythm section, the emotional downswing of “Gap Year” stated plainly and purely.
Jacklin’s well placed to transpose her wonderful melancholy for the good ol’ rock music: “Parks” is half a ballad made fun, a sad song tinged with psychedelia in its shambling guitars. “Dark Corner Dance Floor” is kinda earth-scorched and a little bit climactic -- even ethereal, at points, the keyboards and backing vocals shining bright -- but it’s still held within the nimble shred of a garage band, having fun and doing it for the good times. Hear the yelps and woops that finish off the song and know it’s been a blast.
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