If you’ve been checking out the music I’ve found here lately (Bears of Legend, Being Buffalo, Wooly and the Mammoth) you’re seeing a common thread. These are indie pop folk bands, to one extent or another, and I’m happy to add Les Enfants (Ezra Vine) to that list. They are incredibly talented. If their debut EP is any indication of what is to come, this is a band we will be following for a long time.
The overall sound reminds me of Ivan and Alyosha, which is high praise around here. The hand claps and backing vocals work to bring the sound together. Although the tracks do not all “sound the same,” there’s a definite signature sound here from start to finish on the album.
“Celeste,” the opener is simple but fun. “You’re something out of a dream.” We’ve all met people like that, who seem so surreal but yet so intriguing. The track captures an attitude of adventure and excitement, setting a great tone for the rest of the album.
The second track “It was good” has a nice driving rhythm and, again, superbly mixed vocals. It has a dreamy quality to it, almost like some of the Beach Boys’ hits in the 60s. Yet, at the same time, the clapping and clear sound keeps it grounded as well. It is fundamentally a love song about connecting with someone new. It should be the favorite of teeny boppers the world over…
“The Cradle Song” begins as a lullaby. It begins with an absolutely gorgeous string and chime part that totally drifts from the rest of the album. When the soft and inspiring vocals enter the song, the listener melts with a soothing feeling. As the song grows into its epic form at the climax, listeners actually feel like they’ve levitated with the overall moment captured in the music. It’s pretty phenomenal.
Then we have “Holiday,” which begins with a wonderfully optimistic whistle part. If I were an ad man, I would definitely have this song on my product. It’s catchy and fun. The lyrics aren’t really “dark” per se, but they do have a measure of bitterness in them. It’s a nice little juxtaposition with the upbeat, hand-clapping filled track. The chorus, though, is optimistic: “we are, we are, braver than most.” What a good anthem!
The album ends with the breathtaking “Morning is Coming,” which after all that I’ve said may seem hard to believe is actually the best song on the album. It highlights the lead singer’s operatic vocal qualities initially, then he sounds like a spitting image of Brian Wilson circa 1965. The overall quality of the track is like a Broadway hit. Although still indie folk, it shows the remarkable versatility of this band.
The takeaway on Les Enfants debut is that you should get it. You will find yourself confused the first time through the album. They sound so good and familiar that you will forget they actually are a new band. I’m stoked for a full LP from this band. If you are a fan of most of what we post on this site, then Les Enfants is probably right up your alley. Enjoy.