Fenella is a project from one Jane Weaver, one of the 21st century's most adept practitioners of psychedelia. Along with two of her bandmates, she has created a soundtrack for Marcell Jankovics’ 'Fehérlófia', a 1981 Hungarian animated film that is a perfect match for Weaver's brand of warm and colourful psychedelia.
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Apparently all it takes for me to be interested in an album is for it to have some connection to the countries my parents were born in. Fenella, the new project from psychedelic music’s Jane Weaver, is inspired by ‘Fehérlófia’ a Hungarian animated film from the 80s. I haven't even seen that film! But my mum was born in Hungary and if you don’t believe me I can tell you that due to the quirks of Hungarian grammar ‘Fehér’ (meaning white), ‘ló’ (meaning horse) and ‘fia’ (meaning son) becomes one delightful polysyllabic beast.
The music here is not a million miles away from what Weaver has built her career doing. Softly lulling psychedelia built on oscillating synthesisers and Weaver’s own washed out vocals. Though there’s always an element of exploration in her music, ‘Fenella’ takes a step away from the poppy songwriting towards something more freeform. The songs are brief, no doubt inspired by singular moments from ‘Fehérlófia’. The crushing guitars from ‘Occurring In Waves’ are immense but gone to fast, ‘Truly Seduced’ is a single synth pattern whose decay is turned up and down until it becomes almost unbearable.
And before you know it has become ‘Rock Creature’. For the most part, Weaver has stuck to the sunny side of psych. Her music is perfectly suited to a late afternoon set at a festival. But ‘Rock Creature’ is scary. Guitars clash with synths, all the while an alien heart beat keeps on ticking. Whatever else the ‘Fenella’ project results in, it will be worth it for giving Weaver the space to embrace the sinister.
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