The Fiction Aisle – Jupiter, Florida review
Despite considerable plaudits, Thomas White’s parent band, Electric Soft Parade, have often struggled to convert kudos into commerce. Perhaps conscious of this, White has immersed himself in other activities, including solo albums, Brakes and a spell in Patrick Wolf’s backing band.
He’s also released two albums as The Fiction Aisle in two years, with the project’s ranks blossoming from just him to a 10-member ensemble. Their third confirms his music has evolved, too.
Ambitious but rarely flamboyant – like The Last Shadow Puppets shorn of their bluster – it opens with Gone Today, whose mood shifts enjoyably, repeatedly, from anxious to relieved, and ends with the 10-minute Will I Get Where I’m Going Before I’m Ready?, which channels similar vintage sounds to Richard Hawley, if free of historical baggage.
There’s also swirling synths on the dream-pop of Memory, while The End Of The Affair filters Pulp through a soft-focus, late- 60s filter. Black River builds effortlessly towards a hazy mid- song climax – then does it all again – while Ten Years recalls The Smiths.