MP3 The French Semester - Open Letter to the Disappeared
A stunning combination of indie lo-fi, California mod, Britpop and shoegaze, The French Semester defies definition but pays tribute to the classics. Dreamy songs, ironclad melodies, and scratchy sheen. Timeless and amazing.
15 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, ROCK: Soft Rock
"The French Semester draws inspiration from the masters of melodic infection, most notably Guided By Voices and early Of Montreal. Open Letter to the Disappeared is allied with frolicking male vocal harmonies and strummy electric guitar sunsets. The lyrics linger with a subtle lip of reverb, pointed choruses and longing poetry. The Los Angeles foursome tinkers with lo-fi and twee pop to craft an album that''s joyful and playful, as well as matured and inspired.
A major culprit for its listenability is singer Riaz Tejani''s confident, deeper-toned vocals. His pitch never strains, but commands boldly over the thick fuzz, guiding the instruments as opposed to the opposite. "Summer Face," the debut''s centerpiece, is an effortless song, smug with an apathetic attitude and sweeping vocals that bridge the melody both deliberately and lazily - an apt quality laced throughout the album. On the track, the imposingly rich-voiced Tejani sings, "But when you get back, I''ll dry you / And I will speak your tongue smoothly / And I will be strong / Now you''re a humanitarian / But I will eat you someday." Aside from the abnormal imagery, this is the song that will have the listener reaching for the repeat button and asking friends for the tracklist.
The French Semester doesn''t just employ a well-suited singer - its musicians are also notably adept at placing just the right kind of emphasis on their instruments. Things like Riaz Tejani''s guitar solos and Bryan Sullivan''s keys stride with the tempo; they don''t intimidate or preach — they groove. It''s clear the band has the competency to take its major key melody-driven rock into shoegaze territory, but opts for punchy character instead, protecting the album from pretentiousness. With an enduring carefree/ beach-weather feel and the occasional reference to the ocean floating throughout its lyrics, Open Letter... possesses an undeniable self-awareness that allows the band to drive home the point while being understated, catchy and nostalgic all at once."
- Christopher Petro (WC Performer)
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