Reviews

Ross From Friends
Family Portrait

(Brainfeeder)

7/10

Felix Clary Weatherall has been slowly growing out of his nostalgic and admittedly faceless lo-fi production over recent years. While his live show still makes the most of gooey, intangible synths and dusty drum machines, the vibrant instrumentation brought by pals John Dunk on sax and keys, and Jed Hampson on electric guitar, hinted the next phase of this project. This twelve-track sprawling debut still operates well within what fans are used to, with its chilled-out house grooves and melancholic, faded vocal samples, but there’s added detail, and subtle changes between tracks that come together to paint a story.

Ross from Friends has always been a floor-ready artist, and that remains the case. Stick this on at the tail-end of a house party and the room will quietly buzz around to its pleasant but unobtrusive beats. Where the album really shines is on a solitary headphone listen, surprisingly, where the craft can be fully appreciated and the more personal corners of the album reveal themselves. The fidgety percussion on ‘Parallel Sequence’ is expertly constructed, each woosh of sound surprising and impactful. The analog/digital shifts on ‘Don’t Wake Dad’ feel like they could suck all the air out of the room. The proper opener, ‘Thank God I’m a Lizard’, first seems like a simple floor stomper, until your ears adjust and hear how layered the track is beneath the heavy bass wubs. Ross from Friends has made a cohesive, lovely little album that’s easy to fall into, and when you do, its grasp gets tighter and tighter.

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