fear of... is an album centered on the everyday anxieties that follow us into adulthood, and its sound signals a shift in L’Enfant’s style. The two brothers, Thomas and Oscar Peters, returned to their label Boogie Angst with an urge to use more pronounced elements of synth-pop. Or, as they’ve described it, “a left-field pop vibe in particular.”
The sibling duo, and beating heart of L’Enfant, have crafted intricate indie-electronica with their varied backgrounds. Thomas studied as a jazz guitarist, while Oscar focused on sound design particularly for electronic music. And now they’ve grown. L’Enfant has expanded to a seven-piece band when they take the stage, with fear of… democratically designating vocals to each member throughout. For L’Enfant, live performances and visuals are integral to their work. This is a group that thrives off the immersive experience, the reverberations of their synths and bass throbbing on the floor where we stand. Their music is visceral and multi-sensory, and luckily their new frontier on fear of... is as enrapturing as it is spine-tingling.
Their single, "Change," has a moody and atmospheric opening, as if an evening fog were settling in. It’s a melody that feels vaguely inspired by '80s sci-fi, as the chorus dips into the repetitive chant, “Don’t change, don’t change,” an incantation against life’s guaranteed metamorphoses. Despite the underlying frenzy of this message—a last-ditch effort to grasp the past—the song itself is mesmerizing and easy in its delivery.
Then there’s "Adult Men," which follows a steady percussion punctuated by hand-claps and sounds of a lighter flicking into flame. Spirals of synth unravel as the track progresses, adding a higher decibel to heavily rhythmic landscape. A deep, masculine timbre acts as the song’s mouthpiece, ruminating, “Can’t control you,” before a chorus of more subdued, electronically-filtered vocals weave in, their line nearly inaudible but hazily made out as, “What’s he gonna get?”
Like all seven tracks on the list, it’s multi-faceted, and punctures the constraints of a two-dimensional space to take physical shape in our reality. And when that happens, our advice is to embrace it.