Taiwanese indie pop duo, The Fur. (yes, with the period included), return with the announcement of their sophomore album, Serene Reminder, due out December 10. This timely album begs the question: When life loses its brakes and spins out of control; when the world’s running order changes; or even worse, when loved ones fade away. In this endless derailment from daily life, is there a constant, new normal that can alleviate all of this?
“Love conquers all” is The Fur.’s reply. Serene Reminder, is like a series of memos in response to a year full of changes, as well as a record of the unexpected peaceful state of the mind under these circumstances. Serene Reminder is produced by Taiwanese musician Yuchain Wang who is as well in the production of Sunset Rollercoaster’s Jinji Kikko, Bossa Nova, and Cassa Nova.
Today, The Fur. — aka Yoz (singer & songwriter) and Zero (musical arrangements) — share their new single, “Oh Why.” The track is a perfect window into the world of Serene Reminder, with it’s city-pop sound that lights up listeners of Mitski, PREP, Phum Viphurit. The song itself dives into the depths of emotions that cannot be conveyed with language. Yoz explains:
“I wrote “Oh Why” to talk about the communications we feel hard to exchange. It’s like being in a relationship and you can’t get to know better of the other person, yet the connection in between still exists.
It is a bittersweet kind of emotion. It’s a situation when you feel lost in the physical world but secretly celebrate the attraction between people. The idea is transformed into a monologue-like singing in this song, interpreting the unsolved feelings.
“Oh Why” is produced by Yuchain Wang and recorded at MoriSound Studio in Taipei. It was a lovely time during the whole recording session. “Oh Why” is very beautiful to me as it balances between light and heavy, confused and excited. It is a song that you can lock yourself up in the room and dance to. It is also a song you get to sing out the lyrics like yelling into the pillow. I hope people who listen to this song would also sense the projection they need, and soon able to clarify the true feelings in tough thinkings.
Despite all the obstructive moves, what is most important is the love we believe in. As I penned ‘the silent crystal speaks no extra conversation’, I am to express the most crucial and the most ignored power placed underneath all. I’d like to shout out to our producer Yuchain Wang, performers Zero, Cheyo, and Hungli Chen for making this song so lively and solidly in the right grooves.”
Describing the band’s debut album, Town, UK tastemaker Drowned in Sound says, “The Fur.’s winsome concoction of dreamy synth-pop and indie rock initially strikes the listener as tongue-in-cheek and fun,” adding, “beneath their music’s wide-eyed levity simmers a wistful melancholia that doesn’t shy away from the occasional dark twist.” The new music follows in the same path, and even includes some of the “80s Fleetwood Mac-like swerve” that Drowned in Sound noted on their first release.
With familiar sounds, the new album’s lyrical content couldn’t be a better for the feelings everyone around the globe has felt in 2020. Even though now Taiwan may seem like a paradise to residents of the USA, a place where concerts still happen and friends still gather, struggle and hardship have been embedded into this year on a global level. The duo’s attitude has been: If the measurement of a year is too immense, then start with a day; if no one knows what will happen in three months, why not focus on the three hours now? The album speaks directly to that sentiment.
The song “Oh Why” talks about the inability to convey emotions through language anymore, but as long as we can still “feel” one another, it is more than enough. “Planet of Love” overflows with sweetness, singing about the unconditional tolerance for people and things. When self-doubt creates internal philosophical debates, listen to “Lobster.” “Julie” is a song for a little house elf named Julie. “Goodbye” is about grown-up love, learning to turn bitterness into sweetness, and basking in the warm sun when sadness becomes too overwhelming. For distant lovers, disrupted by the Covid crisis, and are unable to foresee their next reunion, remember to play “Friday Love” on a beautiful Friday night. Listeners can lose themselves and love freely in a virtual realm, where time and space are free from disturbance. There is always a song that can let people forget about the boredom, and focus on the moment, as the moment is eternal. Serene Reminder opens with the love declaration-esque track “Stay With Me”, and closes off with “Car of Yours,” a song about seeing through life’s script, and coming to an epiphany that life should be in one’s hands. With its delicate and remarkable healing-like magic, the album gently consoles each and every lost soul of 2020.