ALBUM REVIEW: Few Bits – ‘Big Sparks’

Belgian dream pop group Few Bits are a band with good vibes. On new album ‘Big Sparks’ they actualise their mighty aspirations and set the space glowing in auburn hues with positive affirmations. Carrying an upbeat and uplifting feel throughout the album, this is a record perfect for chilled days relaxing in the sun. Vocalist Karolien Van Ransbeeck winds haunting hushed cadence with mellow rich warmth, which mesh perfectly alongside beautiful strums of guitar and sumptuous synths for the 49 minute duration.

The first song Summer Sun is fragrant with summer yearning, but primarily it’s a song about moving on and letting go. Propelled forward by a vitality of driving beats and glorious melody, this iridescent instrumental sets the tone for an immediate positive energy to take effect. When the vocals start they speak from the heart – they are haunting, powerful, the lyrics explain a journey of trying to recover from heartbreak: “Summer sun is shining through and I’m no longer waiting on you.”

Taking a similar vibe to the first track, Chasing Rainbows eases us in slowly. The song builds with heavier sounds adding texture in the place of light. ‘Chasing Rainbows’ is similar to track six Starry Eyed that examines the idea of being lost in your own thoughts and feelings. The vocals are evocative, underlined by dark rumblings of bass that work to question the emotionally unavailable: “I wonder when you will see…when will you feel.” Few Bits manage to hold on to a varied mix of influences, from Fleetwood Mac and The Cure for their classic atmosphere building techniques and storytelling, whilst contemporary leanings towards Alvvays and Beach House make a play to be heard also. But take away all these influences and Few Bits are still offering something original and brave – a foray of honest feeling and robust dream indie.

Title track Big Sparks opens with a more gentle approach, faint hints of synth emerge like an awakening but this is indeed broken by a sudden jolt when a steady drum beat marches in. The song speaks about the reality of love shown through the contrasting verses and chorus. The verses are slower and more reserved, hinting to the stresses of being in love. The chorus is short but up-tempo adding a bright burst of colour to the proceedings, it’s a realisation of the way that love can be so blinding focused by the lyric: “dangerous games they washed out my mind.”

Do Your Best is a feel-good track, a countdown from the drum sticks gets you ready for the burst of energy which soon courses in. The vocals blend with the instruments, both being as dominant as each other. Sweet Warrior rolls in like the sound of a broken-down merry-go-round, off-kilter and on-edge treading the line of Few Bits’ darker soul, this mood lifts intermittently throughout. The final two tracks (Days / Souvenir) on the album wear quite a different guise to the others, the latter falls into an almost Beatles-esque melting pot of neo-psychedelia. An unexpected but welcoming twist to lead out on.

‘Big Sparks’ is out on 30th September. Buy on iTunes here.

Find Few Bits on Facebook and Twitter.

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