Coastal is a new project from Belfast’s Paul J Fox who “aims to make timeless guitar music that’s been to the bottom of the ocean and back again”. It’s not an inaccurate description either as Fox injects these Beach House-style sounds with his own singer/songwriter values.
In keeping with the air of attractively-rendered melancholy, ‘Heart Of Tin’ informs us that it’s “time to squeeze another heartache in” accompanied by a classic jangly melody. If that song was a throwback, then ‘Black Stars/Flash Cars’ is a full blown surf rock revival with only the glistening production indicating the song was made in the present day. The song comes equipped with eerie harmonies too which call to mind the recent endeavours of The Drums.
At the album’s centrepoint another highlight occurs. Even if the track is called ‘The 90s’, it’s possible to hear clearer echoes of 1960’s beat groups and psychedelia in this swinging, thrilling slice of dream rock. After this, the spare ‘Night Moth’ feels like a comedown but – just when you think Fox is flagging – the ringing hypnotic guitars and chilling vocals on ‘To The End Of’ create a warped but stunning finale.
‘Crumble Blue’ is far more than an indication of promise. Most of these songs are magnificent and fully realised statements of an extremely talented musician. Bring on the album please.
Beach House, The Drums, The Pretty Things