Folly Group’s debut album Down There! features a nefarious-looking cave network as its cover. Underpinned by 10 points that relate to London locations central to the album’s creation, its artwork and title invite you to step into an uncanny underworld of the familiar. Opening with a gang vocal from all four band members, ‘Big Ground’ sends you plummeting to the subterranean depths of a complex musical world that is bound together by a dark playfulness.
Led by the group’s endlessly impressive percussive force, each track moves seamlessly from one carefully constructed soundscape to another. The atmospheric world-building that reared its head in their first EP Awake and Hungry (2021) finds itself fully formed and expansive; “It’s not about genre as much as creating your own cinematic universe,” lead vocalist and drummer Sean Harper has said. Only repeated close listens begin to reveal the subtleties and textures built into each track. Drawing from punk, dub, trip-hop, dance music, and traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms, the record fuses diverse reference points for an unsettling and confronting twist on the familiar.
The album is a soaring success in its approach to containing multitudes, gliding from the heavily electronic to the guitar-driven, distorted and industrial. The addictive ‘East Flat Crows’ revels in lyrical and percussive dialogues melding vocalists and instruments which feel at once at home with one another and bizarrely alien. Slow burner ‘Nest’ is gleefully obsessive, while the jagged and curt ‘New Feature’ is a triumph in weighty electronic depths. Whatever’s Down There!, it’s got me hooked enough to want to burrow inside for a closer look.