Album Reviews

The Fontaines: L.A. Duo of New-Wop

The Fontaines, duo consisting of brother-sister, Charlotte (19) and Hank (24) Fontaine, hail from Los Angeles, and reinvented a timeless look and feel, which they dub as “New-Wop.” Set to release their debut EP The Fontaines on April 28, 2015,  the five track EP is not only notable for their sound, but the clever homage to an era, and people, that clearly influenced their approach on music. While they are a duo, the other members that contribute during live performances are Michael Coleman, Jason DeMayo, and Scott Zimmerman. All tracks contain a light-hearted essence that can ease the heaviest of any days.

Named after American Actor, and heart-throb in the 50s, “Paul Newman,” is the first track off their EP, and is a fun, pop song, embracing the care-free attitude of that era, followed by simple 50s guitar progression chords. The song primarily focuses on the sweet voice of Charlotte Fontaine, who is capable of so much, yet controls it with such confidence. The video, directed by Hank Fontaine, is just as lovable as the song, showcasing C. Fontaine, in retro outfits, crooning her love. “Don’t go calling me blue eyed baby / because I aint got blue eyes,” is the catchiest line, and can be seen in reference to the bluest of blue eyes, belonging to Paul Newman.

The next track, “Dusty Springfield,” is named after the English pop singer, most active from the 50s-60s, followed by, “Charlotte Fontaine.” Where no available track or video is up yet for these two, anticipation is high, and curiosity as for the theme the band has set.

Making its way back to another classic American Actor emerging in the 60s, “Dustin Hoffman,” would be my personal favorite, due to the drumming and different approach of vocal stylization. This track combines surf-rock with slight moderation, help by a full backing band. Another song based on the ever going trials of love, and the feeling not being reciprocated: “you even turn me down, yeah, in my fantasies / thought I was a pretty girl in my dreams.” My only tie between naming the song “Dustin Hoffman,” and the lyrics itself, would be the mention of  “I thought I was a pretty girl in my dreams,” noting back to Hoffman’s career where no one thought he would make it because they deemed him “ugly.” Once again, a clever use of their influences to portray feelings within a song.

 

The final track, “Cate Blanchet,” is obviously named after the actress, whom is the only modern personality mentioned in the track listening. The song captures more of this new-wop sound, once again focusing on the pleasant lull of C. Fontaine’s voice. A perfect embodiment of retro-pop, with lovable lyrics, and completely wraps up the EP.

Looking forward to the debut EP, along with upcoming shows within the Los Angeles area: February 18, Sassafras Saloon, Hollywood and February 27, Amplyfi Hollywood, Hollywood, CA.

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