Faux Real are brothers Elliot and Virgile Arndt (of Vanishing Twin and Natas Loves You, respectively). We very recently encountered the duo for the first time (a bit slow on the uptake it seems), performing for the PopMutations online festival. Their set was unbelievably entertaining. It was full of cliché pop star dance routines, front “stage” matching costume changes and slightly tripped out avant synth pop music.
The live set led us to their self-titled EP, released in May, the first three songs of which they performed.
Opening with an a capella intro “Kindred Spirit” is like Ariel Pink at his most coherent (think Round and Round), but even cleaner and crisper. It’s a sensationally catchy anthemic pop song with one hell of a chorus.
“Boss Sweet” is a slower affair but no less catchy. The lyrics are a glorious cliche of 80s power ballads. It’s brilliantly crafted synth pop. The sort of music Klaxons were trying to make when they stopped trying to be a punk band, but done well.
They step up the pace with the ridiculous “Second Sweat”. With mad bleeping synths borrowed from happy hardcore, a percussive bassline and some great vocal harmonies. They move back into ballad mode on the soft grooving “Come Thru”. It has a fairly minimalistic approach, with a lurching melody and bassline, offset by simple synth chords. As the song nears the end it ramps up into a dirty groove, almost like a glammy 70s prog band.
They close this fine EP with the brooding, darker “Airplane Mode”. It somewhat recalls “Hissing Fauna…” era Of Montreal with it’s falsetto singing and slick funk.
This was a great surprise, so thanks to Pop Mutations for turning us on to Faux Real. There might not be a more entertaining EP released this year.
You may enjoy this if you like: Ariel Pink, Of Montreal, Gut Waxy, Scissor Sisters, MGMT
‘Faux Real’ is out now