FIEL GARVIE • Caught Laughing
[CD released August 2006]

Caught Laughing is the new record by the Norwich, England quintet Fiel Garvie, and the band's second release for the Minneapolis-based Words On Music label. The collective has released five singles, one EP, and three albums in the decade since their formation in 1996.

Mixed by Geoff Allen (Camera Obscura, Teenage Fanclub, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai) Caught Laughing continues Fiel Garvie's reformation of pop music through nine spellbinding new songs. Rather than abandoning the pop form altogether, Fiel Garvie cunningly sidesteps its conventions with a distinctive flair and ambience that does not cloud the quintet's fluency in melodies and hooks.

The album begins with the lullaby "Special Rate," whose string arrangements and whispered vocals by Anne Reekie pronounce the band as an exquisite practitioner of baroque chamber pop. Reekie's voice — often cited by critics for her poignant, unconventional delivery — is likewise not simply a lyrical conduit, but also a gateway to an enchanting, unfamiliar world of sound.

"The Palace Lights," the album's first single, is a deceptively jaunty tale of seaside suicide, set to an insistent keyboard figure and borne along with the sweetest melody, designed to inveigle itself into your consciousness and stay there with a limpet-like sticking power.

Mid-tempo songs like "Estimate" and "Daylight" gracefully march alongside American Analog Set and Yo La Tengo, while "Air Song," the album's epic centerpiece, pulsates and loops in a manner that conjures up the work of Stereolab.

"Dreaming is good because it outlasts us all," Reekie closes the album's second track "Estimate," and the passage is an apt account of the impressions left by this record. In Caught Laughing Fiel Garvie create an enduring, hallucinogenic microcosmos inhabited by exotic, spherical keys, bashful peals of becalming guitars, subterranean basslines, and columns of percussion that announce themselves in sporadic, yet potent, intervals.

Caught Laughing launches Fiel Garvie into their second decade of delivering idiosyncratic pop music, and unqualifiedly continues their tradition of fearlessly flying their flag of independence.

Fiel Garvie's new album picks up very nicely from its previous one, exploring a vein of reflective, melancholy, and stately rock & roll equal parts solo Nick Cave, Pulp and Tindersticks.
-- Ned Raggett, All Music Guide

Caught Laughing seems to catch itself brooding and lulling more than it catches itself laughing, but it's all to good effect. Caught Laughing just might charm you after it breaks down your indie-rock defenses.
-- Delusions of Adequacy

Fiel Garvie have a knack for making effortlessly beautiful dreampop sound truly effortless. 'Special Rate', 'The Palace Lights', 'Air Song' - So many good tunes here.
-- The Big Takeover (#59, Fall 2006)

Exquisite chamber pop arrangements with a distinctive dreamy, timeless, fairy tale-ish quality that you don't hear so much of these days. The tempo rarely gets above a slow canter but there's no need to rush through something this pretty.
-- ChromeWaves.net (Canada)

Heaven knows where Nico's soul went after she died, but there's indication that her voice traveled to Norwich, England, and inhabited the body of Anne Reekie. It's nearly impossible to deny their dreary vamp charms.
-- Skyscraper (#22)

Fans of the emotions invoked by Mercury Rev and Cocteau Twins will want this beautiful album.
-- Blow Up (Italy)

The Norwich, England-based group has a truly distinct sound — a floating sort of dream-pop, but more structured than that implies. They're not making clouds, they're crafting songs. Their songs build and release, coalesce around remarkable melodies, and glide in the sophisticated manner of timeless balladry.
-- Dave Heaton, Erasing Clouds

Find Yourself Along the Way

1. special rate (3.18)
2. estimate (4.01)
3. the palace lights (3.19)
4. daylight (3.23)
5. airsong (6.08) [video]
6. shy away (3.48)
7. all of you (5.15)
8. off and on again (4.27)
9. we wish (4.57)

Fiel Garvie

Additional Releases