Bostonians Dyr Faser are spell-check’s worst nightmare but corrective spelling aside, the general apathy to the mainstream’s attention to them remains a mystery. They’ve had their wobbles – unstable, shifting line-ups; at least one release which perhaps thought a little too much of itself (or possibly gave no thought to very much at all) but ‘Vanishing Edge’ is the resurrection of a band…if two people can be a band, who treat sound like master jewellers treat shiny pebbles.
To clarify, ‘Vanishing Edge’ is a 7-track album. There has been none of that current nonsense of accusing anything between 2 tracks and 35 of being an EP. I simply have no idea where that silliness sprang from, or why EPs ever became a thing. Singles or albums, everyone – no-one is interested in your half-way house. Dyr Faser remain a duo – Eric Boomhower and Amelia May given roles in the operation nominally but in reality trade instruments and lead vocals in a relay race fashion, with the baton remaining tightly clutched regardless. I’ve tried, over the past few years, to attempt to put them in some kind of musical context, which has always proved tricky – there’s German electronic stuff in there; slow-burn dream pop; drizzles of shoe gaze but with Vanishing Edge comes the clearest view of where they fit – they are the Martin Denny and Les Reed of electro-rock. They are exotica for the post-Space Age.
The Space Age was great but it turns out, it finished in the sixties, in fact the very second we touched down on the Moon and discovered only dust and a faint hum, with not a spot of cheese nor sight of a smiling face. The Jetsons lied. Charlatans, vagabonds and bullshitters, the lot of ’em. Space isn’t fun in the slightest. Esquivel’s dreams of whistling astronauts and fishbowl helmets are mid-20th Century babbling. The post-Space Age, the here and now where flecks of paint cause billion dollar satellites to sink to fiery doom and Martian drones seize up the minute they contemplate embarking on their journeys, is where Dyr Faser’s sound lives. It’s the loneliness of life faraway; the reality of crushing defeat; the glory of not dying.
At full pelt, such as opener, “The First Way In”, the band are android guardians of Velvet Underground’s legacy of smart, angular pop, happy to leave long spaces between verses for the sparking and groaning of their sound to stew. At their most lugubrious – “Living Weight” and “Kiss It All Goodbye”, there is the sensation of being sucked in by quicksand whilst being force-fed laughing gas. Every note, like every grain of sand, quickens the heart, for rich or poorer. I’ll quite happy to admit I thought Dyr Faser had had their run in the sun and we could all clap politely and whilst we put the bins out. In fact, I struggle to see anything this year matching the majesty of all this. Fucking show-offs.