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Fred Thomas

Flood

((Magic Marker); US: 20 Nov 2007; UK: 20 Nov 2007)

Indie geeks may recognize him from the Michigan pop group Saturday Looks Good to Me, but fans of more bittersweet four-track folk could do worse than explore Flood, the newest of many Fred Thomas (note: not Thompson) solo efforts. On lovely acoustic tracks like “Snow Bright”, Thomas weaves undeniably gorgeous melodies with rustling lo-fi effects. Meanwhile, the title track is a haunting seven-minute track with a chaotic conclusion, as if an attempt to put the ‘freak’ back in ‘freak-folk’. Thomas takes this to an extreme on “There Was a Flood”, a song buried beneath layers of red-zone fuzz. The album’s centerpiece, however, is “Little Songs”, at turns noisy and affecting. The result is unsettling, yet endearing and not entirely dissimilar from that of Sparklehorse’s early work: move past the cryptic interludes and “Is it supposed to sound like that?” effect and you’ll find some rewarding songwriting.

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Zach Schonfeld is an associate editor for PopMatters and a reporter for Newsweek. Previously, he was an editorial fellow at The Atlantic Wire and graduated from Wesleyan University, birthplace of Das Racist, MGMT, and the nineteenth-century respiration calorimeter, where he served as the editor of Wesleying, a popular student-life blog. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting presidential birthplaces and teaching his dog to tweet. In addition to PopMatters, his writing has appeared online at Rolling Stone, TIME, Consequence of Sound, The Nation, USA Today College, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, and the Hartford Courant. He can be reached at zschonfeld(at)gmail(dot)com or on Twitter @zzzzaaaacccchhh.


Tagged as: fred thomas
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