Cindy Free Advice

Tough Love
20th December 2021

Format Info

LP - black vinyl

Just an instant classic.

Cindy’s songs are glowing, deeply atmospheric insular worlds that hang together like a galaxy of Gill’s imagination. Down-stroked guitar and the beautiful, fragile voice Gill lets out in sighs and coos are augmented with sparse instrumentation and the gentle hiss of a 4-Track singing to us in its sleep. Omnichord and skeletal drums punctuate the misty atmosphere. Simplicity is king, understatement the queen. These are lullabies for the heartbroken for sure and you could point out the influence of perennial Monorail Music faves Galaxie 500 or the Georgia Hubley songs of Yo La Tengo in the DNA of Cindy but there’s something so direct, simple and gently stirring about Gill’s delivery that the band creates its own universe, a galaxy of its own fading in and out of view in the inky nocturne. There’s a grace and restraint on Free Advice, like a more down at heel Low letting each note and word weigh heavy on the heart.

Discount Lawyer takes that Galaxie 500 / Velvets blueprint of 1 – 2 drumming and looping guitar chords and quietly builds, keeping reserved and searching. Falcon Heavy brings the full band in for the first time with a faster paced, indie-pop sound that feels distinctly like one of the wonky Austalian pop groups (The Stroppies, Twerps et al.) before the influence of the American slowcore music of the mid to late 90s creeps into the ear on Seeing Double. The music is so understated that each micro moment ends up feeling like a big symphony smashing into a new movement. The creeping in of a high-pitched harmony or the nocturnal, spare keyboard dressing the song like a cloak of stars.

The band somehow manage to keep their distinctive style during a distorted, faster song like Wrong Answer, with Gill’s staccato, terse lyrics shot out more as a rhythmic instrument. It’s still undeniably the same band on heart-string tugging Song 23, a Galaxie 500 played on the Jukebox at the cafe in the Mar-T cafe in Twin Peaks. Fixed Idea almost feels like an early Delgados track, if they were steeped in a century of North American culture, while the stark percussion and frayed, slow strummed guitar on April Magazine is pure VU. The eponymous track is pure killer, a vulnerable meditation about hometown anxiety that scintillates on the ear.


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