The concept to Charles Bordeaux’s ‘Fables’ is based on themes of gratitude and appreciation and tells the story of a farmer’s life from birth to death and his mistakes in between. None of this backstory is especially relevant to the quality of music on ‘Fables’, which is simply a great collection of modern synth pop/dream pop tunes with a soulful edge.
It begins brilliantly. The immediately infectious ‘Sandman’ is set to a twinkling electronica melody and the slightly cracked emotional tones of Bordeaux’s own voice. Then instrumentals ‘First Grain’ and ‘Nostalgia’ are distinguished by lovely gorgeous layers of synthesized melody and flowing folktronica respectively. However, ‘Bloodpacts (The Weeds)’ takes an unexpected step into psychedelic soul territory and it’s a detour which shows what a versatile performer Bordeaux is. He’s a canny enough songwriter to save one of his best moments for last too; ‘Forest & The Moon’ building up slowly from its glacial beats and twinkling lights to becomes a tour de force for not only Bordeaux the singer but also Bordeaux the arranger of a miniature epic.
Whatever you think of the somewhat unusual narrative, on this evidence, this Long Island-based artist is on to something pretty exciting. May his fragile psychedelic soul continue to prosper.
Chris Zurich, Christian McKee