Fyfe announces debut album, ‘Control’
Released via Believe Recordings on March 9
Live: UK Headline tour, London Electrowerkz on March 25
“Fyfe is rapidly blossoming into something quite special” - Clash
“Pulls together the classicist perspective with emerging electronic production…Fyfe’s voice soars above it all” - Noisey
“Tugs at the heartstrings before becoming more rhythmic and symphonic...[Fyfe] is still proving hard to categorise” - Guardian
“London has become a hotbed for additive, glitchy R&B...our favourite purveyor happens to be Fyfe” - Nylon
Fyfe will release his much-anticipated debut album, ‘Control’, on March 9 via Believe Recordings.
The video to his new single ‘Holding On’ was premiered recently prior to its release in November (with support across Radio 1 – Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, Phil & Alice – 6Music and XFM). Having again topped Hype Machine, supported SOHN and played a string of sold-out shows as part of Communion’s New Faces tour, Fyfe has today announced an eight date headline tour in early 2015, including London Electrowerkz on March 25.
‘Control’ is a collection of brooding, expertly-crafted alternative pop songs, from an artist and producer who has already earned fans as diverse as London Grammar to Childish Gambino (and over 2 million Soundcloud plays to boot). For 25-year-old Paul Dixon, it’s a record which may have started as an exercise in tightening one’s grip on life, but is effectively about release, and learning that control itself is a fallacy.
You can’t blame him for trying, however. A prodigal young talent, Fyfe’s childhood was spent learning the violin, piano, trumpet and playing in youth orchestras, before his older brother ordered that he listen to cooler music instead and gave him a Logic set-up. Whilst studying Economics at University in Manchester, Fyfe shifted away from his classical schooling - though a quietly symphonic grandeur still characterises much of ‘Control’ - to writing his own songs under the alias of David’s Lyre. Suddenly the two worlds collided and something had to give: halfway through his course he dropped out and signed to Mercury Records (“there was a period where I was in an exam and I just wasn't able to concentrate properly”). Despite a wave of acclaim, Dixon became stuck within the major label infrastructure, lost momentum, and ended up right back where he started (releasing music independently online). Though this time around, things were going to be different.
It was the appropriately-isolated sounds of ‘Solace’ which formed the blueprint (musically and lyrically) of ‘Control’. Primarily a meditation on depression, Dixon emailed ‘Solace’ and just a picture of the back of his paint-streaked head by way of biography to a dozen music sites: without a PR, manager or any label in place, he watched its anonymous origins morph into one of the most-blogged hits of the year. Though back in the game, this cloak of anonymity was no short-term, industry-stirring means of piquing curiosity: Fyfe began (and remains) a project about freedom, simplicity and having a greater sense of who you are and what you want.
Written and entirely self-produced by Fyfe, ‘Control’ feels as inspired by the 90s hip-hop beats which characterised Dixon’s childhood as the delicate pop of The XX, via the swelling orchestral arrangements of Bjork’s ‘Volta’: all held together by Fyfe’s near-falsetto vocal croon. ‘Conversations’ opens proceedings, a dark-hued but effortlessly rhythmic snapshot of insomnia (“it’s about the anxiety trying to make things happen, when you actually have little influence over it”). The volcanic brass of ‘St Tropez’, too, explores the gap between dreams and drudgery, where a woman’s idea of paradise has ended in her waiting on tables. Ultimately, though, ‘Control’ revels in the ability to let one’s guard down in the right personal and artistic environment: ‘For You’ is a maze of pianos, double-time Lauryn Hill beats and a thrillingly playful saxophone solo, mirroring the euphoria of love. Elsewhere, the soaring gospel uplift of ‘Veins’ captures the ecstasy of romance, though it’s a freedom which is hard-fought for: ‘Holding On’ is an elegiac image of paranoia but faith in a long-distance relationship, whilst the shimmering autoharp of ‘Polythene Love’ comments on transient, throwaway lust via a playful school-disco duet. The ethereal electronics of the title track closes the record, with its looped lyrical mantra a fitting surmising of the release achieved across these eleven songs (“oh darling / when I’m with you / I find I’m / able to lose control”).
Older, wiser, but still just 25, Fyfe’s debut album is a journey of self-discovery from an artist and producer who has picked himself up and come back stronger. It’s the realisation, studied via everything from depression or insomnia to long-term relationships, “that the world keeps moving without you, regardless of how tight you grip it.” A pop record with a working brain and a beating heart, ‘Control’ is the sound of an artist seizing back the reigns and then letting them go, turning his paint-smeared, back-to-camera to face forwards – looking right at you, and into the future.
You can lay your hands on Fyfe's cover of Kanye's 'Through The Wire' below....
Mar 24 | Green Door Store | Brighton
Mar 25 | Electrowerks | London
Mar 27 | Louisiana | Bristol
Mar 28 | The Sunflower Lounge | Birmingham
Mar 29 | Bodega | Nottingham
Mar 31 | Castle | Manchester
Apr 01 | Nice N Sleazys | Glasgow
Apr 02 | Brudenell Games Room | Leeds