Artist: The Feelies
Album: In Between
Label: Bar/None Records
Release Date: 02/04/2017
New Jersey-based band the Feelies have inspired REM, Yo La Tengo and Weezer. They have always acknowledged the indelible influence of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground and wear it openly on their sleeves. In Between, their first new album in six years, celebrates their 40th anniversary and finds them continuing to forge their own brand of jangly pop.
Beginning and ending with the sounds of crickets, birds, and a mysterious flutter, the title track “In Between” is a strummy acoustic number with gentle vocals that steadily builds with intensity, a Feelies’ trademark. Recurring themes of time pervade the album as evidenced in the titles “Turn Back Time,” “Pass The Time” and “Time Will Tell.” Clearly their minds are on the clock. An out-of-tune music box creates a dreamy dissonance on “Stay The Course,” which ebbs and flows with droning energy while “Been Replaced” opens with radio fuzz and launches into a low-fi Nirvana-like riff backed by off kilter flutes.“In Between” bookends the record with a heavy hum very much reminiscent of the Stooges, who the band has covered before.
Overall, In Between is a bit more acoustic and sonically experimental than previous releases. If the Feelies continue to cover familiar territory, and even themselves, no matter, they do it well. After 40 years, their music continues to hypnotize.