This is something new to me personally. I get approached my bands and artists asking me to review stuff all the time. Usually a DM in Instagram and (before I started charging them) PR companies asking me to review their artists.
This person emailed me a link saying they were just looking for people online who might wanna hear it. There was no kinda business or formality, there was nothing like that. They actually didn’t ask me to review it until I asked if they wanted me to.
Marketing wise, that takes fucking balls and I’m here for it.
The artist in question is Fairies! No Mercenaries AKA Theomar Francois. I know very little about them and I’m not gonna do a full on interview with them and interrogate them, but they’re very little known. What I do know is they’re from LA, California (currently in Clermont) and they’re currently working on a new album. That’s all I could really find through searching.
That upsets me because it’s fucking good music and the video is out of this world, I’ll link you it here.
The song stylistically is simplistic. Nothing is being taken away from the vocals and the lyrics, but we know me: I listen to every element I possibly can and home in on it.
As a bass player, it got me from the get go. It’s a scale which I’ve used when playing on stuff before: it creates a basic rhythm and beat to follow and because it’s a scale, it sticks in your head. Every person takes a scale and mixes it up slightly just so they don’t get called a ‘lazy bass player’ but I’ve done it, pretty much every bassist has done it, but in this song it’s in the foreground. I like that; I’ve played on stuff where it’s mixed down to a point where you can’t hear me and the thing is, I’m fucking good.
The synth/keyboard follows the same pattern, creating something steady, while blending into the other instruments seamlessly, and is the first thing you hear in the song. I’ve mentioned it in past music reviews, but it follows the single chord pattern that is a trend this year, so it plays into aspects of what is commercial.
The guitar is stunningly played, adding in an extra bit of something and is incredibly skillfully played. It matches the timing as the video hits a climax (we’ll get on to that in a minute).
The drums again are simplistic and follow a basic pattern and beat. Yet, I can’t fault it because it works with the tone of the song, it works with the theme and it creates a mood.
We know how I am; I take music seriously as shit because it’s my passion. I don’t like people being lazy about it or sticking to rules. Yet, I can’t fault this, and it’s not me trying to be encouraging. It just works so well and it’s skillful while being simplistic so I can’t go in on it.
Here comes the part that you all know and love: me talking about lyrics and vocals. I’m also a lyricist and a vocalist so I know my own opinions and what I would/wouldn’t do and what stuff is run of the mill.
This isn’t fucking run of the mill.
The voice surprised me; it reminds me of the same tone Bon Iver has in a way. It’s soothing and there’s hell of a range, but less grit to the tone Bon Iver often has. It sounds tranquil, and you can then understand why the other elements to the song are simplistic: they’re letting the voice shine. There’s also something that reminds me a little of the 1975 in there, with the soothing tone and the indie feel to it.
It reminds me A LOT of the Railway Children, a band from the 1980’s and it took me ages to figure that out. It has the same feel and tone as “Every Beat of the Heart”- a great song, so it’s in no way a criticism.
What honestly gets me the most about everything though is the video, and I’ll use the artists words to describe it, because it’s the same summary as I’d make.
“The song follows a girl who sees a creature that only she can see. She attempts to avoid it but it begins to ruin her life until she realizes the creature’s been there since she was a child.“
I thought that was a statement video and it looked to be incredibly high budget, which did surprise me as the artist is doing their own PR and from the YouTube following at least, they’re not huge. They SHOULD be, but they’re not. I liked the fact that the video could be interpreted in different ways, that there’s different layers of meaning. The fact that the monster has always been there leads some to believe that it’s about depression, the guitar coming in at the point where the girl realises it’s always been there.
Good job to Mykalia Williams for producing and Ben Kadie for directing; it’s an incredible video.
Basically, please, PLEASE go check it out. You can see the level of work and determination gone into it, and I think Fairies! No Mercenaries could go far.
Stay safe and stay happy, Angels❤️