I saw this lad at the Bodega as part of a 4-band roving tour headed by Amber Run last November. This time he’s back for his own headline tour, and it’s fair to say he nailed it.
Date: March 29, 2015
On his gas bill, Fyfe is Paul Dixon, a Manchester-based glitch-pop troubadour whose skittish, evocative anti-pop pop is beguiling and enchanting.
He’s been lazily plonked next to the likes of Wild Beasts such is his minimalistic sound and sparse arrangements, but his voice is more akin to Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip. In fact, close your eyes, and this could be Taylor’s solo project. It’s precisely the type of toned down indietronica that lurks on Hot Chip records, particularly on opener Conversations.
Fyfe and his two-man band swap their instruments from drum pads, keys, bass, guitar and, of course, laptops. This interchangeable work ethos creates all sorts of genre-hopping sounds.
Veins, for example, is Afro-beat without the pretentious bent, while the majority of his music is a mesmeric display of rapier-sharp electronica.
The atmosphere is a little stifling. The complex time signatures obstruct any form of dance, and foot tapping to a beat proves problematic.
St Tropez features a reverb-y guitar line and programmed “Ooh-oohs” that build and build into a lush climax with yet more Afro-beat. It’s a busy mix, but it blends well.
There’s a cover of Kanye West’s Through The Wire, which totally dismantles the original and leaves it in bits.
Set closer Solace, by rights, should be bothering the top 40. More choral “Ooh-oohs” provide the backdrop to a glitchy, scratchy but uplifting tune, augmented by a wirey guitar solo from the man himself.
Sparse, taught and minimalistic, Fyfe creates an exiguous, downbeat-yet-uplifting vibe.