I have a bit of a crush on Regina Spektor… I love her music and love her observational approach to songwriting… as well as her piano playing. I say this… not so much as a confession… but more to put my understanding of “Oh Holy Molar”, the second album from UK trio Felix, into context… mostly because lead singer/songwriter Lucinda Chua reminds me of her.
Now… let’s be clear… Lucinda Chua reminds me of Spektor but she is very much her own person… someone I find wonderfully bewitching and engaging… very much like the music from her band Felix.
Guitarist Chris Summerlin and drummer Neil Turpin contribute to some really delightful and engaging piano-orientated indie rock and neo-classical music… which creates a very solid foundation for Chua‘s witty, observational and all-too-real lyrics.
Their music can be dark at times but it never becomes depressing… it also can be upbeat, off-the-wall and jovial but never flippant… this is real music… firmly grounded in reality… and I, for one, really like it. It has a lasting appeal that I think will stand the test of time.
What’s more… the music… especially the words… has an effortless intelligence about it… not snobbery but an accessible and articulate literacy… the kind that comes with experience and humility. Again, this is something I really enjoy.
Lastly, their music has an appropriateness about it… nothing is overdone or unnecessarily repeated. That said… nothing is underdone either… their music has a just-rightness about it that I think really works… especially with Chua‘s vocals.
The opening track… ‘The Bells’… is a fine example of their musicianship and Chua‘s lyricism. It is a wonderful track that ebbs and flows with emotion… founded on Chua‘s piano… a melody that’s accented by some emphatic percussion and just the right amount of guitar.
‘Hate Song’ is similarly exemplary… with such poignant lyrics and a backing that builds from an almost minimal piano backing to include some beautiful vocal harmonies… subtle guitar atmospherics… and firm percussion. Utterly delightful.
The title track ‘Oh Holy Molar’ has the most wonderfully absurd lyrics… “wake from a dream where our teeth are gone”… and a really foot-tappingly infectious melody.
We need more music like Felix: articulate and adventurous… with a real focus on melody… where talented musicians demonstrate their abilities without the need to go overboard.