Published May 22, 2015Montreal's Folly & The Hunter have perfected their clean approach to atmospheric, folk-pop glimmer to the point that they make it sound easy. While this can absolutely be a strength — and it often is here — it can also make it sound like they are going through the motions, with new album Awake not quite reaching the earworm heights that 2013's Tragic Care did.
Awake's biggest weakness is its trouble with making songs memorable: How much can one big, shimmery mid-tempo song stand out from the next? It stumbles a bit out of the gate with a couple of early tunes that leave something to be desired, but hits its stride midway through with the gentle slow-burn piano of "Duisburg" culminating in a Broken Social Scene-esque crescendo, and the pleasantly sparse "Lose That Light." The highlight comes just before the end in the uplifting, irresistible melodies of "Arrow," followed with the understated, heart-wrenching "Science."
Awake follows a formula, to be sure, but it's a formula that Folly & The Hunter have managed to perfect. And that method — a mixture of cinematic swells, wordless codas, sharp percussion and big emotion — are also very hard to resist. (Outside)