Ferns 'Fairweather Friends'

Updated: 20 Apr 2012

Time Out says

Rating: 3.5/5

For local indie band Ferns, 2007 debut album ‘On Botany’ was always going to be a tough act to follow. Rolling Stone named the quintet one of the ‘top 25 Best Bands on MySpace’ that year, and in 2008, Ferns impressed when opening for Swedish indie pop gurus Club 8 and Pelle Carlberg at KLPac. A lot of things can change in five years, but thankfully, sophomore effort ‘Fairweather Friends’ picks up where ‘On Botany’ left off with an edgier variation of the band’s jingle-jangle twee pop.

‘Miss Stormcloud’, about an irresistible girl who brings nothing but misery, is the sort of tune twee pop dreams are made of, with a melodic opening arrangement and sweet boygirl harmonies reminiscent of early Camera Obscura. Some of the more rock heavy tracks like ‘Dismay’ and ‘Sad Sack’ feel a little out of place in the sea of mellow tunes, but Warren Chan’s soft vocals are like a gentle guiding light along one’s inability to have fun (‘Anti Social Scene’) and the oxymoron of loving a little too much to the point of being creepy (‘Hey OK’).

Climate themes inexplicably crop up between lyrics in ‘Fairweather Friends’, but since we are in the business of talking about the weather, this Ferns record would be the perfect soundtrack to our sleepy summer; if Malaysia ever had four seasons that is. Wong Boon Ken