Lost Map Records kickstarted their year with an excellent release in Clementine March’s ‘Songs of Resilience’. Yet another addition to an impressive catalogue of releases. London’s Firestations have been steadily productive since 2014, and really picked up the pace in recent years. Melted Medium is the second of a trilogy of EPs called the ‘Automatic Tendencies’ project. This EP sees the band continue to refine their brooding and lush alt-pop.
The electronic flecked 4/4 twinkle of ‘Outpost Index’ is softly atmospheric, with backing vocals that can’t help but recall Low. Its icy atmosphere neatly straddles the line between indie jangle and synth pop.
‘The Circular’ is like a lost 90s baggy anthem caught up in a shoegaze atmosphere. The ripping distortion at the beginning belies the spacey beauty that follows. There’s a touch of REM in the guitar sounds.
Firestations really shine when they drop the pace.
The delicate ‘Low Ratio (Sunken Version)’ is absolutely gorgeous. The ghostly vocal harmonies are goosebump inducing. It’s the sort of song I can imagine would have me rooted to the spot, fixated, at a live show.
The band pick up the pace again on the lovely ‘Stray Signals’, which signals their final lone contribution to the EP. They really nail their song craft and rhythmic ebb and flow on here. Like Real Estate if they were more exciting.
In an unusual and delightful turn of events, label mate Clémentine March enters the fray with a cover of one of Firestations own songs. It’s typically charming and, what’s more, nestles very nicely in amongst the ethereal atmosphere of the rest of ‘Melted Medium’.
The EP closes out with a remix, by Dreamtrak, of the song New Device. That this works as a euphoric dance-floor banger is further testament to Firestations’ melodic strengths.
‘Melted Medium’ is an understated success.
You may enjoy this if you like:
Low, Yo La Tengo, Real Estate, Clémentine March