Montreal is a breeding ground for the kind of eclectic indie-pop that keeps blogs in business. Sometimes it seems impossible for the city to give birth to a boring band. Montreal’s rich cultural tradition leads me to believe that these bands adhere to a pretty simple principle. They have enough faith in music as art, and they’re excited about the limitless possibilities of their art. Count the Lovely Feathers as members of this brethren. Fantasy of the Lot speaks to their dedicated principles. Their brand of speedy, electronically-influenced indie pop breathes freely without being restrained. It’s fast stuff, but Fantasy of The Lot sprawls almost effortlessly. The record tells tall tales, and you’d be foolish not to lend an ear to this eclectic four-piece.
Fantasy of the Lot, the Lovely Feathers’ third full-length, bursts at the brims of convention, yet each of the 12 tracks on the record seem totally at ease with the urgency which drives them. “Finders Fee” could be a Smiths track. Piping, ranging guitars build echoes that create an ambient universe around the speakers. Yet the protagonist of the story, seemingly riddled with paranoia, continues on a quest of personal discovery. Delightful melodies soon give way to a booming crescendo, and we learn more and more about the band. They’re the type that are comfortable just wandering. But what they find is damn exciting.
“Agrotaker” is one of the shorter tracks on the record, another example of the band’s penchant for devilish, British-sounding ’80s pop. The grappling verse and chorus fight between furious strumming of classical sounding guitars, while lead singer Mark Kupfert’s somewhat alarming pitch keeps listeners in a state of constant bewilderment. There are indeed moments on Fantasy of the Lot where listeners might be not be too sure what the Lovely Feathers are up to, such as the spooked yet optimistic beat of “Family Doesn’t Know the Game.” But if the Lovely Feathers have enough faith in their art to take chances, listeners should be up for the ride.
Fantasy of the Lot not only takes pleasure in letting its art expand and take chances, but the many protagonists on the record seem to follow the same path. They take chances, complimenting Fantasy of the Lot in harmonious fury. Like the character “Lowiza”, who battles with her counterparts beneath twisting hooks and gang-vocals.
Kupfert wails only when necessary, exemplifying the struggles of his protagonists and giving heed to the Lovely Feathers’ punch-and-run approach. We can never be too sure if Fantasy of the Lot is trying to encourage us or scare the shit out of us, but again, it’s about faith. The Lovely Feathers believe in the characters created on Fantasy of the Lot, and want them to find their footing. “Long Walks” is another eclectic number. Spaced-out guitar noodling seems to lose its cohesive edge for only a brief moment, before those addictive gang vocals pull us back to Earth. The Lovely Feathers scream with a tongue-in-cheek delight, “You got courage.” It might take a bit of courage to stomach their speedy and expansive indie rock, sure. Yet let’s give a little credence to this four-piece for taking chances. Like the characters on Fantasy of the Lot, we’ve all got a lot to learn.