Fyear Fyear

Fyear - s/t


There is a lot of fire to be found on FYEAR’s eponymous debut album which oscillates between the realms of Conscious Rap poetry and fighting Free Jazz that is working with and somehow also representative of the sounds their label Constellation Records is known for. What a debut!

The project starts with a cross of a Bluegrass string explosion and a pumping Noise-Rock experiment and shows with its very first minutes already that this record is a very good representative of the more diverse, less Post-Rock-ish side of Constellation Record, which quite frankly is at least as impressive as the GYBE-side of things. FYEAR itself then again stands out on that more experimental side of things in many, many aspects.

Let’s have a short look at the birth of this project – masterminds Jason Sharp and Kaie Kellough laid its foundations during the pandemic or as they like to call it “the fucked up year” - f***** year, fyear, FYEAR. And in the middle of that scalpel-like seizure amidst our lives, the outlook on the future was a sinister one. The division between the social gaps became more and more evident. The (partially completely) different mindsets were unveiled and fighting. The illogical and detrimental understanding for fact and fiction, opinion and proof split all of us. The future was dark and it also raised many questions, questions of ownership, who owns what. Is there anything like the possession of the future and if so, who has a part in it? Everybody? Or only those that already have a secure present? Will the future be owned by the 1% or will it be shared amongst all people? How can we define and shape it? The term post-apocalyptic is thrown around quite a bit on this record – either verbal or non-verbal.

This “verbal-ness”, “outspoken-ness”, “worded-ness” is a result of the arrangement of the project itself – there are two vocalists, poetry prize winner Kaie himself and Tawhida Tanya Evanson. Very often one is reminded of the great vocal artists (mind you, not singers or “only” rappers) like Gil Scott-Heron or Saul Williams. Kaie’s and Tanya’s voices complement each other tremendously in the flow, the sounds and somehow also the thought. Kaie phrased it in the sense of her giving life to his words gives them new meaning, new intent and new content – a wonderful idea, especially, when one knows the setup of the eight people on stage. They form two lines facing each other, each with its own vocalist, violinist and drummer – and if one thinks about this arrangement the first thing that comes to mind is a battle, but this project is not about battling, it is about bridging the divide, uniting the people and their futures.

Even though many songs have highly dissonant elements, use drones, harsh noise and only give away the sources for these parts at second glance; for example, Jason’s use of his saxophone is akin to Morello’s use of the guitar, outliving its “boundaries” and using it as another source of beat, sound and melody. The modulation he gives to the instrument is amazing and even though, of course, he is not a scratchy as Morello, I have not heard many saxophonists (apart from people like Richard Knox) make as variable use of this instrument as Jason. The record will take you through its course of roughly 45 minutes of Drone (Metal), Free Jazz, Post-Hardcore lyricism, Post-Rock and so much more and believe me – if you have a bit of patience and give the record a second and or third spin, you will love it as much as I do. The dissonances will become sonic complements, the noise will become pleasing and the future, well, the future might look a bit brighter. As long as we have people living on earth that look at it from a good angle. And who try to come up with ideas of how to understand and then shape our future. Thank you FYEAR, thank you Constellation, thank you for reading.