The Fontaines are brother-sister duo, Charlotte and Hank Fontaine, from Los Angeles. They have just released their new EP ‘ ii ‘ which is a blend of their “New-Wop” sounds, jazz tones, smooth sweet vocals and some really cleverly and competent guitar features which give this EP a bite and an indie feel. The Fontaines are making their sound their own, they are fresh, original and know exactly what they are doing. Their ‘ii’ EP confirms this with four strong tracks that follow each other fluidly while remaining different and showcasing the many styles and talents of The Fontaines.
The EP begins with the electric and energetic ‘Cold’ which was released earlier this year and we previously wrote a feature on. Its a strong start to the EP as it brings energy and a mass of sounds that are refreshing and innovative. We see their sugar coated doo- wop style only this time they have added a refreshing bit of rock in the mix. Charlotte’s vocals begin soft, soothing and sweet for the verses with light beats behind and then they blast us into a heavy chorus instrumentally with more dynamic vocals. This track is toe tappingly good and infectious with an edgy guitar that gives a rock, almost psychedelic feel that just raises this track up.
‘Handstand’ follows in a swaying bop manner. Charlotte shows us her vocal skills as she begins in a lamenting tone and builds to her raspy high range with an almost growl at times. Hank displays some really slick sharp guitar playing as he takes command for the shredding bridge. The soft luscious backing vocals, which is a feature of The Fontaines music appears in this track and adds a longing tone. This track is infectiously catchy and deals with the theme of a love that has ultimately soured in a refreshing edgy way while remaining boppingly good.
‘Please, Say Something’ is the third track on the EP and it slows down the tone. It is stripped back and simple with a 1940’s feel. Charlotte’s beautiful gentle vocals take the limelight with only light delicate piano accompaniment. Her vocals are emotional and clear as she pleads with her lover. This track shows just how amazing The Fontaines are as they strip everything back and reveal true raw emotion which pulls on your heart strings.
‘I Love You,’ is the final track on the EP and it follows is predecessor smoothly keeping with the melancholy broken heart them but they oomph it up a bit with this track. This track tells us the character is leaving her lover but its full of positive tones as she appears to be fed up of her previous situation but is hopeful for the future “I hope I’ll come back to you.“ Again The Fontaines give us a 50’s 60’s bopping style but with a modern twist, with fuzzed guitar added in all the right places like a slice of lemon in a sweet drink giving us a refreshing edge. The smooth vocals and lush harmony in backing vocals make this track really attractive with catchy lyrics you wont be able to stop yourself from singing along.
‘ii’ as a whole has proved that The Fontaines are not afraid to take risks and shake things up. They have found their sound but that doesn’t tie them down. ‘ii’ is a collection of tracks that showcase both Charlotte and Hank’s skilled musicianship as they convey a story of love, heartbreak and everything between in just four tracks, in a modern fresh way while pulling in the much loved doo-wop style and making it their own.
A fantastic EP from the talented and gifted duo.
Stream ‘ii’ below