Simultaneously uplifting and sad
FUR, a quartet from Brighton, UK, use lush instrumentation and harmonies in contrast with dark lyrics to convey the cycle of loss and heartbreak in their debut album When You Walk Away. Their vocalist, William Murray, croons over the music pushing and pulling against the other instruments. FUR have an ear for melody that is rare among new bands. Their sound combines the best of introspective alternative rock and disposable pop.
When You Walk Away is book-ended by two songs named for the album. “Walk Away Pt. 1” is an effective introduction to show people who they are as a band. The track is an encapsulation of the album itself. Multiple guitars lay the foundation which starts people down the winding path of the record. “Anybody Else But Me” introduces the idea of self-loathing that repeats throughout this release. The sunny and light melody casts long shadows of doubt. It proves the strongest quality of their music is its honesty and raw emotion. FUR are the epitome of alternative rock. The songs are memorable because of the group’s ability to draw in their listeners with well-written songs.
“The Fine Line of a Quiet Life” begins as a T-Rex-inspired shuffle, but just as the band settles into that rhythm, it shifts to the plaintive refrain, which is infectious and unsettling at the same time. “She’s The Warmest Colour In My Mind” is an overly sweet antidote to the previous song. It’s intentionally saccharin and sounds like filler. In contrast, “No Good For You” is a stand-out. The band combines reggae and their own brand of love song. It’s a rain cloud over a Hawaiian sunset. “Wild Heart” and “Love You All The Time” are throwback songs. The mellow tone and three-part harmonies are comforting, but the lyrics are haunting. They’re well-structured pop songs that swing.
When You Walk Away is a debut album full of contradictions but how the band pulls these different and sometimes clashing parts together is distinct. It’s an album from musicians who know their sound but are still exploring all the options they have as songwriters.