News Freelove Fenner

Incredibly insidious and spellbinding examples of minimal guitar music. Martyn Young profiles.


: Freelove Fenner
Based: Montreal
Listen: ‘Pineapple Hair’ EP
Similar to: Warpaint, Television

Brevity is an undervalued concept in popular music. Montreal based trio Freelove Fenner understand exactly that if the musicianship is good enough and the songs are tightly honed and constructed then the music can say all it needs to say in the shortest possible time. Freelove Fenner’s songs may be very short but they have an incredibly resonant effect. The trio compose of singer Caitlin, guitarist Peter and Michael on drums. The band formed over 5 years ago and released a very limited edition album in their homeland in 2009. Despite being a band for a considerable time, they’ve made little impact outside of North America. This is ever so slightly baffling.

In October, the band released a new EP on excellent Canadian independent record label Fixture Records. ‘Pineapple Hair’ is a staggeringly proficient and assured collection. Self produced by Caitlin and Peter in the recording studio that they also run, its six songs, no more than two minutes in length, are incredibly insidious and spellbinding examples of minimal guitar music. The EP is characterised by a compelling sharpness and clarity. Every drum click and beat, guitar pick and hook and poised vocal is clearly defined. It is rare that you come across music that is so focused, précised and captivating.

The sharpness of sound and fidelity of the songs component parts is perhaps a result of the way the songs were recorded entirely onto analogue tape. The analogue recording approach is indicative of the bands’ strong and unique economy of sound. There are no digitally enhanced flourishes or superfluous embellishments. At times, the snaking and weaving guitar lines are reminiscent of Television while there is a degree of mystique in Caitlin’s alluring vocals. Every one of the six songs is a little bit special. The staccato subtly funky strut of ‘Vicky’s Day’ is a particular standout though.

Stream ‘Wendy Witchcult’:

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