Three years on from the release of his debut, Fake Laugh’s Kamran Khan finds himself in fine form on his second outing. A meticulous odd-pop record gilded with playful pop melodies and melodic guitar work, ‘Dining Alone’ is bursting with colour.
Jangly guitar tones and staccato orchestral hits mark catchy single ‘If You Don’t Wanna Know’, while the strutting power-pop groove of ‘The Empty Party’ recalls the grungy swagger of prime Weezer. Nursery rhyme-like opener ‘Ever Imagine’, meanwhile, draws on ‘60s psych-pop bands like The Zombies, in one of the album’s fruitier moments. Instrumental interludes like the twinkling ‘Platze’ and woozy ‘Dining Alone’, meanwhile, provide some valuable pit stops along this giddy journey.
The album was inspired by Kamran’s experiences of living in two decidedly different cities - London and Berlin. Accordingly, ‘Dining Alone’ feels like it is constantly shifting identity. It feels liberating, if not a tad ungrounded at points.
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