Analogue Music | Phantastic Ferniture
Phantastic Ferniture

Phantastic Ferniture

Artist: Phantastic Ferniture · Written by Scott Elingburg

Date Released

27 July, 2018




35 minutes

So far this year, my favorite records have come from down under.

Between Jack River, Courtney Barnett, Middle Kids, and the debut LP from Phantastic Ferniture, female Australian musicians and bands are crushing it. I know, I know; it sounds like one of those forced, press-ready selling points like the swing revival of the 90s or the new garage invasion of the early aughts. (This year's Australian Invasion!) I hate that type of collective group-think because, what it implies that, a) we can’t judge a band on their own merits, and, b) its an marketable trend that draws focus away from the music.

But I digress. (I’ve been listening to Tyler Mahan Coe and Mark Mosley’s hilarious podcast Your Favorite Band Sucks for a few weeks now so I’m extra salty and hypercritical of music before I can settle into it.) Listening to Phantastic Ferniture as a singular band devoid of influence shows off the trio's natural gift to craft enduring hooks and make some of the most infectious songs of the year.

Their recently released singles are would-be radio hits in any playlist. “Gap Year” is a loose blast of minimal drum and bass pop that sneaks up on you and loops through your brain even when you’re not listening to it. On its own, it's a perfect pop gem and that lays out the musical model that the band follows through to the end of their all-too-brief nine song album. “Bad Timing” is a blissful, hazy shot of Saturday morning sunlight, packed with a choral refrain (“let me get back, let me get back”) that makes me feel like the world is still full of endless possibilities. While “Fuckin ’n’ Rollin” doesn't pass up a chance to make good use of the freedom in its title. I feel it when the ladies sing “it just feels right" in the song because, honestly, everything about this record just feels right.

Opener “Uncomfortable Teenager” is one welcoming invitation if there ever was one. Here's the entry point--right at the beginning of this record. If you’re not into it by track one, just hang it up and get busy moping around to Radiohead or something.

For a nine-song album, Phantastic Ferniture, is about 35 minutes of emotional and lyrical sunshine, tinged with sliver or two of darkness (“I Need It,” "Take It Off") and an occasional dip in tempo (“Parks”). I’ve read the term “garage pop” thrown around to describe Phantastic Ferniture and it's accurate. The sound of the record is no-nonsense and a little murky and buried in places (in a good way, mind you), but it’s also irresistible, well-sequenced, and utterly repeatable. Like three musicians who (re)discovered how much joy music brings, the debut from Phantastic Ferniture outshines the pressure of the modern music business. Together it sounds as though they're saying summer’s not over, yet and there’s still a lot of life left to wring out of the daylight.