Long term readers of Higher Plain Music know I love a strong, expressive female singer/songwriter who’ll balance dark pop and something alternative. It’s a niche I’m passionate about and Faultress fits this mould perfectly with her new EP ‘5 Myths’.
To dig deeper, Faultress (which is an abandoned word meaning ‘female criminal’) mixes up synth loops, piano and various styles of beats together before layering her voice. With ‘Marilyn’ her voice is channelling aggressive and frustration as both the main vocal and all the backing layers pulsate with a lack of love. With the more chilled out ‘Sanctuary’ Faultress flexes an impressive vocal range that nods to Kate Bush and Happy Rhodes. The production is much closer to SOHN though.
That cross over space of SOHN and Bush really called to me. ‘Beating Heart (an ode to oxygen)’ borrows to a gospel hum that is part voice part synth. Meanwhile, an early 90’s tick-tock percussive loop moves time around the Faultress. It sounds hypnotic but unique. ‘Icarus’ takes the vocal layers a step further and into the power synthpop genre. In some ways, its quite minimalist but the track has a big impact even when I generally dislike spoken word in music. The EP rounds off with ‘Hood & Wolf’ which is the most artistic track. A thick trumpet-fused synth drone razers out over rousing vocal arrangements and a Nightcrawlers track without percussion. As all the hazy atmospherics fade away – it is just Faultress and her voice left signalling a clarity of sorts.
Across ‘5 Myths’ there is a lyrical undercurrent around mental health and some of the rhythms and synths play into the theme of racing thoughts and heartbeats. The EP carefully constructed so that you end with that clarity and calmness. It’s as if you’ve gone through the tunnel of noise and returned to yourself on the other side. Clever stuff.
‘5 Myths’ is an exceptional EP that lyrically targets positive messages on mental health by placing each track into a valiant scenario. From there, Faultress absolutely conquers each track with her mesmerising voice that can flick from fragile to powerhouse in an instant. When I first heard the EP – I immediately hit repeat. It is worthy of the highest praise and sets us up a fascinating new artist with something empowering to say.
Recommended track: Sanctuary
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