For Ever



It’s been four years since a mysterious production duo known only as “T” and “J” burst into soundtracks and cool lists with their ’80s infused neo-soul and funk-lite jams. They played the hype well; the easy euphoria of ‘Busy Earnin” was quickly installed as the Hipster Soundtrack Of The Summer, while their self-titled debut, an ultra-modern, shimmering collection of syncopated grooves and synth washes, seemed ready made for sync opportunities and radio ubiquity. A Mercury Prize nomination followed, as did respectable sales, acclaim, and a two-year world tour.

But such a rapid ascent came at a cost to Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson. “I’m a troubled man / Changed by the things I do” they sing on ‘Happy Man’, one of a number of downbeat sentiments scattered throughout second album ‘For Ever’. Moving to L.A. and falling in and out of love left the pair dazed and bruised, unsure of their new-found status; “Buy yourself a dream / And it won’t mean nothing”, they add, skewering the notion of idyllic, West Coast decadence.  

Sad bangers are currently all the rage, yet despite being billed as a “post apocalyptic radio station playing break up songs”, ‘For Ever’ doesn’t wallow in self pity. Pomp and strut are in abundance, but it’s all a little familiar – both ‘Cherry”s languid tropical groove and the cosmic, funk-lite of ‘Casio’ and ‘Beat 54”s seductive bustle sound like a band trying not to change a winning formula. When they do step outside their comfort zone – the bittersweet longing of ‘Home In LA’, or ‘Cosurmyne”s woozy piano’n’gospel – the results are impressive, suggesting a breadth to their talents that wasn’t obvious first time around. Sadly, there’s not enough of that to lift ‘For Ever’ above being merely a competent follow up; just like their debut, there’s promise here, but it’ll take a little more substance to make the most of it.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.