Hidden Gem: The Correspondents – Foolishman

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The Correspondents’ sophomore album, Foolishman, was released in 2017 and continued the London-based duo’s unique sound as they chronical the journey of the eponymous Foolishman’s affair. Most accurately described as electro-swing, The Correspondents continue to develop their specific voice. The overall sound of the album erratically changes its feel, one moment evoking thoughts of Panic! At the Disco’s song Death of a Bachelor and the next having the lyricism of The Front Bottoms.

The album opens on the upbeat ‘Tonight’, an ode to nightlife and the double-edged-sword that drinking copious amounts of alcohol really is. The song begins a downward spiral as in the latter sections, chants of “Can’t do this forever” underscore the singer’s revelry. This reality reaches its apex in the subsequent ‘How it Feels’, which details the breakdown of the Foolishman’s relationship due to his actions in the night. Lyrics consist of repeated and recycled platitudes, convincing the Foolishman that he’s done nothing wrong.

The middle of the album slows down, as ‘Freedoms’ picks up after the relationship has fallen apart. The drumbeats from ‘Tonight’ resonate through the track as the Foolishman remains in denial about the shift in his life. The drums echo the previously joyous tones of the Foolishman’s life, now muted as only a memory.

The album’s strongest and most pivotal song is ‘Inexplicable’. The Foolishman muses over his powerlessness, with the song examining his underlying feelings of inadequacy. The backing vocals sound harmonic, evoking a therapeutic confessional feeling to the track. When compared to the other tracks, the music feels muted, placing his confessions at the forefront. This tension is relieved by ‘Finally’, a cry of liberation as trumpets serenade the Foolishman and his ability to sleep again – a stark contrast to his addiction to the nightlife.

If ‘Inexplicable’ is a therapy session, then ‘One Look’ is a relapse. Lyrics repeatedly reference ‘Tonight’, setting him back at the start. The accompanying music also fits more with the sensibilities of the pre-‘Inexplicable’ tracks, as the thoughtful notes of ‘Inexplicable’ and the liberating feeling of ‘Finally’ are stripped away and replaced by more desire and longing.

Through Foolishman, The Correspondents have managed to weave a tragic story of a person so addicted to short-term pleasures, that his life has passed him by. They did all this on an album where every song sounds new and exciting, while forming a cohesive whole that is sure to get anyone, ironically, caught up in the music and humming the Foolishman’s tune throughout the night.

Foolishman is available to listen to now via From.Our.Own. Check out ‘Finally’ down below.

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