The first early glimpses of My Best Fiend promised a “spacious, dreamlike world” that their singles had yet to fully reveal. That all changes with their debut, In Ghostlike Fading, as the Brooklyn five-piece unveil an understated form of rock that breaks from the mold of what’s expected of a typical Warp signee. An album of reverent fantasies and atmospheric ballads, their dreamlike world is one you’ll be reluctant to wake from.
Brevity may have ruled on previous short releases, but it’s in measured space rock that In Ghostlike Fading finds its defining moments. The nearly eight minute long “O.D.V.I.P.” is worth the wait for an instance of painstaking intimacy, as the layers of noise from chimes of piano and reverb are stripped away for an awe inspiring chorus, led by the raspy vocals of Fred Coldwell. The similarly lengthy ” On the Shores of the Infinite” loses the noise for a soothing lullaby of strings and a hushed melody similar to the serene beauty found in the group, Spiritualized.
Previously describing their sound as “a noise that doesn’t fit into one idea,” not all of the album is comprised of these languid anthems. Both “One Velvet Day” and “Cracking Eggs” open deceivingly quiet compared to the forthcoming dynamic ending, as the same chilling melodies that led previous tracks to mesh with controlled instrumental explosions. Even during a dramatic change of pace like the slowed down “I’m Not Going Anywhere”, My Best Fiend uses the same budding energy found in the conclusion to introduce a sweetened counterpart to Coldwell’s rough vocals.
My Best Fiend might be reluctant to categorize their sound, but they prove that no matter what direction they take, the payoff packs a lasting impression.
Essential Tracks: “Cracking Eggs”, “O.D.V.I.P.”