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Fol Chen gets remixed by Keepaway, adds more tour dates with Liars

By April 26, 2010No Comments

Fol Chen

MP3: “In Ruins” (Keepaway Remix)

MP3: “In Ruins”

For its second album, Highland Park sextet Fol Chen presents Part II: The New December, songs of malaise and miscommunication set to dark pop and glitch-riddled chamber funk. Since the band’s inception, Fol Chen has remained a mysterious entity – its membership disguised by masks and aliases, its lyrics appearing as transmissions from a fictional world. But just as the on-album narrative has congealed in bits and pieces, the group’s real-life story has grown in tangible ways.

Fol Chen’s wildly eclectic 2009 debut, Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made, spawned some healthy praise (from NPR, no less), a remix album (featuring No Kids and Junior Vasquez, among others), a BBC session, and a video collaboration with the Laker Girls. It also paved the way for a pair of uniquely inspired covers: Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones” (recorded for Spin) and Pink Floyd’s “In The Flesh” (for Mojo). Fol Chen’s bent, blackened takes on the pop eccentrics of yore provided fresh context for its own kaleidoscopic songs, and The New December shores up the group’s slippery identity further still. This is Fol Chen’s most focused work – as consistent as it is consuming, as enjoyable as it is unusual.

The plot, steeped in a Bowie-esque sense of puckish melodrama, picks up with the malevolent John Shade vanquished. Unfortunately, the struggle alluded to in Part I has left Fol Chen’s world frayed – covered in ash, plagued by acid rain – and its population dazed. The members of Fol Chen, once a ragtag team of insurgents, are now bureaucrats forced to sit back and watch as the cipher they relied upon to defeat Shade mutates into a virus that eats words indiscriminately. Things unravel as The New December progresses, with Fol Chen enlisting a handful of familiar voices – Angus and Aaron of Liars, L.A. chanteuse Kárin Tatoyan, singer-songwriter Simone White – to help tell the tale.

Tatoyan takes lead on “In Ruins” – whose playful escapism recalls Fol Chen’s earlier hit, “Cable TV” – as an Eastern melody rings out from a vintage Madonna-ish mélange of cut-up funk, fuzz bass and tinkling ivories.

What the press has said about Fol Chen:

“Sinister fun” – Los Angeles Magazine

“L.A.’s best new band? Probably. Fol Chen’s beguiling, witty synth-pop with guitar, funky keyboards and West Coastian harmonies.” – LA Weekly

“[Fol Chen] has already garnered online buzz with the first single, “Cable TV.” The wildly infectious dance tune begins with a dash of sitar before digital blips and drum machine hand claps jump in, with smooth female vocals. “Won’t you come away with me?” she asks…The result is a record that balances light and dark, and is fresh enough to hold listeners captive.” – NPR

“Eclectic enigmas devise eerie pop conundrums.” – SPIN

“Fol Chen has a tasty way about them with a minty tang reminiscent of Hot Chip, Subtle and other quality contemporary layer lifters and psyche pokers…So hardtack-slippery, so jagged-smooth, so bouncing-still is what Fol Chen has wrought that pinning it down in “reviewer-speak” seems a disservice. It’s catchy as f*** in places and a touch scary in others but it’s never a dull ride.” – Jambase

“The music itself is alternately catchy and dark, following a typical story arc with moments high and low, jubilant and brooding…the result is a disc whose intricate songs fuel both cerebral readings and trips to the dance floor.” – Impose

“The Highland Park-based combo plays deadpan electro-pop that should be all arched eyebrows, but it’s arranged so warmly and invitingly that its precision feels less cold than careful.” – Los Angeles Times

“There’s a little bit of Grizzly Bear/Animal Collective density in their sound, but Fol Chen are poppier, sunnier, befitting a West Coast disposition.” – Brooklyn Vegan


04/27 San Francisco, CA Slim’s *
04/29 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre *
04/30 Vancouver, BC VenueCanada *
05/01 Seattle, WA Neumo’s *
07/13 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue *
07/14 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon *
07/15 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall *
07/17 Detroit, MI Magic Stick *
07/18 Newport, KY The Southgate House *
07/20 Nashville, TN Exit / In *
07/21 Bloomington, IN Rhino’s Youth Center *
07/22 St. Louis, MO Firebird *
07/23 Lawrence, KS Bottleneck *
07/24 Denver, CO Bluebird *

* = w/ Liars

Fol Chen
Part II: The New December
(Asthmatic Kitty)
Street Date: July 6, 2010

1. The Holograms
2. In Ruins
3. Your Curtain Call
4. This Is Where the Road Belongs
5. Men, Beasts or Houses
6. C/U
7. Adeline (You Always Look So Bored)
8. The Holes
9. They Came To Me
10. The New December


Twitter –

Band page –

MySpace –

Press Materials –