On their myspace page, the Fast Sails describe themselves as a mix of happy hardcore and Dutch pop, but whatever the source material, our panel found that the result is a quirky, folky pop.
Alice Sage: This girl has an inspired sound – plinky electronica matched with occasional riffs of heavy electric guitar but, best of all, a glorious, soaring, saccharine, balladeering voice. However, be wary of earlier, acoustic tracks: Lanterns is a softer, less upbeat song where the everyday rhythms of the guitar bring something rather bland to what might otherwise feel excitingly fresh. Dots is blissfully sweet and innocent with a Cyndi Lauper-ish voice but boring tambourine-banging backing sounds. Still, with the new EP, I’m loving her Tangerine-Dream sound and I hope she keeps up her melodramatic poppy groove!
Liane Escorza: Is The Fast Sails a band or a soloist woman? Is their music 80s based, post-rock infused or Sarah Mclachlan as a 13 year old? This music has no specific genre and that is puzzling because it doesn’t mean it is unique. It is not that the vocalist’s voice is bad; it is just too plain, slightly out of tune at times and the melodies too simple. The arrangements are middle range, as if tired and old but being polished to give it a new shine and fool their listeners. Songs are slow and do not manage to engage; there is no build up, no excitement, no climax whatsoever. Even if this is intentional, the final product lacks of real soul. Yes, I can only see this type of music being played at bohemian cafes and gallery previews while their sound is being swallowed by chatter and toasting glasses. Ironically, one of their gigs is at an art gallery in California. This is not a sound that I would have expected to successfully thrive in California nor anywhere else. The Fast Sails define it as glossy and 80s. I agree. What they are not is artsy nor retro. At all.
Thomas Moyser: Simone Snaith, a.k.a. The Fast Sails, delivers everything with an endearing lightness of touch and familiar Kate Bush guitar lines. But her lyrics are often very macabre. “It rains all the time in my mind… I’ll try my hardest to relax the tension wires behind my eyes” she sings on Sweetheart. The first bit just reminds me of Inception but the second part is visceral, vulnerable and very inviting. Her lyrics can descend into empty platitude but when the drums kick in and the words pick up she blossoms into a more laid back Beth Jeans Houghton and is well worth a listen.
Check out the Fast Sails here.