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February 2021
Review

Fenne Lily - On Hold

If you’re after an album that’ll break your heart in the wake of unrequited love, look no further than Fenne Lily’s masterful debut.
Fenne Lily - On Hold
Published: 7:26 pm, April 06, 2018
If you’re after an album that’ll break your heart in the wake of unrequited love, look no further.

Label: n/a
Released: 6th April 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Gleaming shimmers of sunshine through the cracks in the curtains of your room as birds softly chirp and your head rings out like an alarm-sized migraine. Your sheets are soaked in your tears, and your heart and your head aren’t on speaking terms. A beautiful morning in the wake of tragedy, the dawn of a new beginning brought on by the pain of the loss of love. Few singer-songwriters capture the feeling of lying between hopefulness and hopelessness in their twilight years, yet alone on their debut album and yet at the age of 20, Fenne Lily commands this feeling through music and curates it like art in a museum to be understood in whatever way needed.

Taking the Laura Marling-inspired folk trappings of her breakthrough single ‘Top To Toe’, Fenne Lily tie-dyes her sound in ambient glosses, polishing it with a subtle nod to the indie folk-pop stylings of Of Monsters & Men, letting the gentle plucking of guitar strings slide into the background whilst honey-dripped vocals narrate stories of love and loss, sacrifice and surrender, and of being optimistic and pessimistic.

As a debut, ‘On Hold’ part-collects her singles released so far and slots them in between new pieces written sporadically between the ending of a relationship and the beginning of moving on. Across a plain of gothic folk, ambient trickles, and mellowing melodies that’ll haunt you in your sleep on lazy Sunday mornings, Fenne Lily expresses her anger at her pain in a wallowing narration of events, her honey-laden vocals leaning into otherworldly territory, particularly on the painfully desperate ‘What’s Good’ and the sorrow of the self-loathing ‘Bud.’ It’s in these Sunday-morning moments where the music is minimalistic that the pain of the words she sings seeps through the music and into your own soul.

If you’re after an album that’ll break your heart in the wake of unrequited love, look no further than Fenne Lily’s masterful command of minimalistic folk and indie-pop melodies that’ll leave you longing for the love you left behind. Jack Press

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