The cover of Vision Fortune (Belgian-born brothers and boarding school boys, Austin and Alex Peru), second album, Country Music shows a suburban house from an aerial view. The house seems normal, if not nicer than most American suburban homes: There is a main house with two levels, a large adjoining garage, a pool with a considerable size house and a nicely manicured lawn, green and lush. In short, it is the epitome of the American dream, the epitome of normalcy. Then why does it seem so strange to its viewer? They only answer to this question is the music that accompanies this image.
The music that permeates throughout this album seems to come from a different world, a different planet. The strange warbling synths on “Dry Mouth” that emulate the distant longing of a slide guitar are strange on their own, but with the addition of the brother’s purposely off-key harmonies – as they ask their listeners to sink with them – adds to the other-worldliness of it all.
There is also a sense of anxiety that comes along with their music, as though the listener does not know if these alien creatures come in the name of harmony or destruction. This is exemplified in “Cleanliness,” where the main sound that permeates throughout the track is a synth that spreads and drips like watercolors, if that watercolor was a spaceship landing on your front lawn. Similarly, the frantic and sparse drums on the opening song, “Blossom,” share this same sense of urgency and worry.
Whether they were intending to or not, these Belgian brothers have made a concept album. A concept album that is about the people’s worries and lives through the views of an outsider. When you are done listening to the album, you will understand the purpose of its cover art: they are observing and trying to understand the human condition.