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Anthony Carew

Free Music Monday: Fol Chen "200 Words"

By January 21, 2013

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Artist: Fol Chen
Track: "200 Words"
From: The False Alarms LP
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
Released: March 19, 2013

Los Angeleno electro-pop conceptualists Fol Chen are returning with their third album, The False Alarms; the follow-up to their one-two debut of 2009's Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune's Made and 2010's Part II: The New December.

The theatrical outfit, who favor performing in character, call their music, punningly, 'opera house'; their cold electro written with a sense of sustained narrative and ambition. It's a cliché to think of austere, robotic synth music as futurist, but there's always a slight near-future tinge to Fol Chen songs; even if, in so many ways, they're indebted to the '80s.

"200 Words," the first track turned loose from The False Alarms, begins with a long stretch of eerie electronic incidentalism; a segue from which a cold, clanking pop-song eventually, spontaneously arises. There's a ghostly —or, maybe, ghost-in-the-machiney— quality to Sinosa Loa's deadpan vox that makes the tune feel haunted.

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