fou
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fou

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | SELF

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Pop Rock

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Fou - "Don't You Know". Ruzzy bloo songs, cooll like lilax, zinc pinc & frostid, all early wintr. Smokng outdors. Lovleeness & noize, nears & fars, stumbled longng, a brokn down pome. [bandcamp] - Said the gramophone


I’ve recently realised that I always thought the relationship between Autumn days and monochrome colours was a purely metaphorical one, such has been the strength of my realisation over the last week of just how literally, and powerfully, grey the world is at the moment. If it weren’t for the blazing and brilliant colours the occasional inner city tree offers up, one could be forgiven for thinking that the colours of the world had all but drained away.

Luckily for me, relief came in the safe and soothing sounds of fou, who’s two-track release offers up more than enough escapism and images of the soft sounds of summer to drag you away from the grey streets you’re currently floating along. A Real Estate-esque guitar line glides through Colour Me In, occasionally caressed by the breathy vocals of front-man Jeevan and some sweet lyrics about pencil crayons. Don’t You Know is a slightly more withdrawn affair, the post-rock shimmer of the guitars and the playful keys producing a colder but no less impressive soundscape to lose yourself within.

fou began writing music together back in early 2011 before taking a break so that Jeevan and his brother Matthew could write and record this stunning Madras record. In between recording Madràs’s debut, and playing shows, the brothers hooked up with drummer Houston again to begin recording songs for fou’s debut LP, boy, which will hopefully drop next in 2013. Fall in love with the band below. - Gold flake paint (uk)


‘Colour Me In’ is the sort of staple that has fuelled this blog over the years. Understated, almost demoesque in its execution, but exactly wondrous by nature. And how could anyone resist a song about crayons and sketch pens when sung this sincerely. It comes from a new band called Fou who although only 3 in number (a pair of which are siblings) are located in both Texas and Dubai. There is a debut album in the offing with a working title of ‘Boy’, and you know what kind of amazing things can happen when you call you first full length something like that. KD - mp3hugger


Fort Worth Weekly wrote a nice piece on Fou, a dream-pop trio currently based out of Fort Worth, Texas. The article delves into how two brothers, Jeevan and Matthew, grew up in Dubai and formed their opinions on love and life based on the strong bond of their parents, together since they met as teenagers in India. A decade or so later, the brothers live in Fort Worth and attend TCU, crafting dream-pop gems in DIY studios with good friend and drummer Houston Holtman. The piece also goes into how music was the cause of a sore break-up between Jeevan and his ex-girlfriend, which derailed the band’s plans only momentarily. There’s plenty of other interesting personal tidbits in there, but we’ll focus on the two tracks they released last month on their Boy EP.

“Don’t You Know?” hearkens back to the mood-heavy alt-rock of the ’90s, reminding heavily of Spiritualized’s drone-friendly and reverb-heavy vein of spaced-out rock. Fou are more subdued and not as intricately involved, but their knack for ethereal dream-pop hooks puts them in a similarly atmospheric realm. The shrill guitar tone during the main bridge is haunting and chilling, and certainly the most idiosyncratic element of the song. Fou always sound cerebral and organized, with melancholy being expressed beautifully over shimmering melodies. I’m very impressed by both “Don’t You Know?” and “Colour Me In”. Fou’s eventual full-length should be a treat. - Obscure sound


Earlier this summer I was introduced to the brothers that comprised the duo Madràs. They had just come out with their debut album Things Can Change, and what impressed me most was what they did with so little. Quiet and fragile, the buoyant guitar licks made you feel as though you were floating. That's why when I heard those same brothers also played in a band called Fou, I was eager to hear what they were all about. Not surprisingly, the product is fantastic and beautiful. The idea is similar, on Fou's 2-song release Boy the group plays with space, manufacturing ethereal dreamscapes that are both calming and engaging. The set up is also minimal, utilizing your basic guitar-bass-drum trio of instruments. Upon first listen, I likened them to the slowcorers Galaxie 500, another group who stripped down to the fundamental arrangement, succeeding wonderfully. The main difference between Boy and Things Can Change is that Boy includes much more texture. Piercing guitar slides tend to break the silence much more so than in their previous work, giving the release a gazey feel. It's great music, and definitely worth a couple of listens. Plus it's a free download, they're basically handing awesome to you on a golden platter. I've placed both songs from Boy, "Colour Me In" and "Don't You Know?", below for your listening pleasure. Afterward, be sure to hit up Bandcamp to snag it. - Audio Splash (United Kingdom)


When Jeevan Antony was a boy living in Dubai, he didn’t yet know how to play an instrument, but, undeterred, he filled notebooks full of sappy, idealistic lyrics. Jeevan and his younger brother, Mathew, formed their opinions on love and life by watching their eternally romantic parents, whose torch, lit when both were teenagers in their native India, had never been extinguished. In high school in Dubai, the brothers picked up guitars and joined a metal band named Decoy Death Trap.


Now that both are Fort Worth residents and students at TCU, they make up the heart of Fou, an easy-listening but emotionally heavy indie-rock band. Jeevan, who writes the lyrics, has been forced to re-think his optimism after going through some adult problems, but his music has only strengthened as he has matured.

When Jeevan moved to Fort Worth three and a half years ago, not having a band to back his guitar stylings forced him to focus on his acoustic guitar. He would record his deceptively simple progressions in his dorm room and then e-mail them back to Dubai, where Mathew would add keyboards and percussion. Last year, Jeevan connected with drummer Houston Holtman, who had returned to percussion after a long break, and they, along with keyboardist Adam Horvath, gave life to Jeevan’s early Fou creations.

The band was progressing quickly until Jeevan’s longtime girlfriend, who was living in Australia, broke up with him unexpectedly. She told him he was free to spend all his time on music. In his head, that translated to, “Music had made me spend less time with her.” Before leaving for his summer studies at the London School of Economics, Jeevan called Holtman and Horvath and ended the burgeoning Fou experiment.

“I knew he’d come around,” said Holtman, who, unlike Horvath, is still in the band.

Sure enough, over the summer,
Jeevan and Mathew began fleshing out what would become Fou’s unofficial “summer demo” via e-mail. The resulting five songs are reverb-soaked, quietly moody compositions referred to by the brothers as “sleepy-rock.” Jeevan wrote all of the songs, including “dreamdippedsincerity” and “mother,ihavelearned,” and they are imbued with his extremely affective, almost shy vocals.

“Jeevan has always been romantic and over-emotional,” Mathew said. Both brothers attribute their idealistic worldviews (Mathew’s is slightly less so) to their parents’ relationship. In India, where arranged marriages are still the norm, the brothers’ parents “had to go through a lot,” Mathew said, to preserve the love that began when they were 13-year-old neighbors and not promised to each other by their families.

The songs on the demo were written by a younger Jeevan, who believed that he also would have an effortlessly happy love life. Now that his script has unraveled, he is trying to figure everything out through music. “I was new to the idea of people fucking over other people,” he said. “Now, the songs I write are a little more pessimistic or realistic. At the same time, there is that hope that I can still have something that my parents have.”

When Jeevan returned to Texas last fall, Mathew enrolled at TCU, and Holtman rejoined the band. Mathew especially marvels at how quickly things have progressed. “I’m 18 and have already played all these open-mic shows,” he said. “In Dubai, you don’t get the opportunity.”

At their parents’ high-rise apartment, Jeevan could practice his instrument only for a few hours a day — any more, and the neighbors would call the police. Now that he lives in a house with a jam room, he can play as loudly and as often as he wants.

This spring, the band plans on veering into a more electronic, experimental direction. Jeevan recently purchased a sampler and wants to utilize clips from his favorite French movies –– “fou” is a French word that translates roughly into “crazy.” “Fou was me embracing the fact that I could be myself,” Jeevan said.

In the next batch of material, all three members will sing. Along with the electronica and tri-vocal approach, Fou’s new music may incorporate traditional Indian rhythms. Jeevan recently delved back into his boyhood Indian folk favorites and has been re-inspired by what he sees as their inherent innocence.

He is also contemplating changing the name Fou to Boy, a word that Holtman uses when ribbing Jeevan about his maudlin tendencies. Jokes aside, the drummer appreciates Jeevan for who he is. “The thing I like most is opening my world up to [life’s] boyish aspects, things you rid yourself of in high school,” Holtman said. “You try to toughen up, but his is a pure essence of what a person is” stripped of his pretenses.

Boyish or not, the music works because its creators aren’t afraid to share who they really are. - Fort Worth Weekly (Fort Worth, USA)


Discography

Singles:
Colour me in
Dont you know

Photos

Bio

Fou is a celebration of youthful naïveté. The trio include brothers Jeevan and Mathew Antony (Madràs), and Cleburne native Houston Holtman. Fou are particularly known for their energetic, and compelling live shows with their blend of bedroom pop, and shoegaze.

Similar artists: The Pixies, Vampire Weekend, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Maccabees, and early Radiohead.

Band Members