Fir Cone Children

PREMIERE: Fir Cone Children - On My Plate (Feat. Krissy Vanderwoude)

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Will Shenton

Taken from Fir Cone Children's forthcoming LP, The Straight & The Curly, "On My Plate" is a dream-punk tune packed with the whimsy of the mundane. Alexander Donat and Krissy Vanderwoude's vocals weave a shimmering tapestry among the driving piano and soaring guitars as they sing about something almost universally familiar: a kid who doesn't want to eat his dinner.

There's something delightful about giving such dramatic treatment to such a banal scene. "I want to eat something else / I do not want what's on my plate," the duo sings in the buildup to the frantic chorus, in which they emphatically declare, "No fork / No knife / No food / No fruit / No vegetables." It almost reads as a parody of self-serious punk (or subgenres thereof), presenting a child's tantrum in a style usually reserved for grander rebellion.

Fir Cone Children do seem to be getting at a broader theme than the literal narrative suggests. Choice, at any age, can be paralyzing, and the birds in the bush are often more appealing than the one in the hand. Perhaps these are impulses we have to overcome to truly grow up, but it's hard not to relate to the kid—sometimes you just want to flip the dinner table and throw a fit.

Be sure to catch The Straight & The Curly July 13 on Blackjack Illuminist Records.

PREMIERE: Fir Cone Children - We Will Never Die (feat. Krissy Vanderwoude)

Kelly Kirwan

Fir Cone Children knows how to lay down a groove. Berlin-based artist Alexander Donat opens his latest single with a simmering guitar line, one that wriggles it's way between your shoulder blades and alleviates any trace of tension. You're left loose-limbed and ready for a sultry sway, nearly expecting the thermostat to rise from the warmth of the melody. "We Will Never Die" rolls on for just over two minutes, it's funk-laden introduction gradually giving way to mild doses of distortion, a few fuzzy garnishes for added texture.

Krissy Wanderwoude acts as the vocal complement to Donat, their airy pitches intermingling across the sound waves with a dreamy effect. Together, they create a relaxed haze that you would link to the happy lethargy of summer nights. Which makes sense, considering the lyrics, “It’s summer / Isn’t it / I know / 'Cause it’s so warm.” On occasion, the song swerves into what feel like small whirlwinds, interludes filled with slow-moving echoes, as if we were listening to them under water.

Fir Cone Children has crafted a song that captures the fleeting feeling of infinity. It brushes off fears of mortality and instead raises its hands to a beat that repeats, “We will never die.” And it’ll leave you feeling the same way.

PREMIERE: Fir Cone Children - Turn Around

Kelly Kirwan

Known for heavy helpings of distortion on his tracks, Berlin-based artist Fir Cone Children (aka Alexander Leonard Donat) stays true to his signature style on the latest single, "Turn Around," which is nested under his fresh-minted album, Firconium. It’s a song that stays the course on the kind of dream-punk, shoegaze genre that Donat has become known for, and never has this branch of music been so optimistic. Lush with reverb and brimming with fuzz, "Turn Around" carries on for just two minutes—another trademark. It’s an interesting balance he strikes, pairing rich, grittier melodies with unfazed and minimalist lyrics. "Turn Around" pulsates between an unruly and easygoing nature, the frayed edges of the track threatening to spill over into a kind of laid-back chaos.

The chorus revolves around his relaxed croon, "Turn, turn, turn around / It makes me dizzy," the words a gentle stroke in the otherwise quick-footed, percussion-dense backdrop. Donat’s voice veers into lightweight, high-reaching octaves as the instruments swirl between moments of intensity and detached, deliberate points of punctuation. It’s sweaty rock 'n' roll paired with sunny vocals, and Donat’s breezy timbre rises and falls with each syllable in one of the closing lines, "I want to be close to you." It’s a head-banger that opts out of punk’s dips into agitation—a track that has a rough touch and, still, a summery disposition.