EP Review: The Faim – Summer Is A Curse

According to The Independent, The Faim “are fast becoming part of the emo revival that is threatening to make waves.” If you hope that is more of a promise than a threat then The Faim are the band for you. They make it seem like emo and pop punk never left.

The title track Summer Is A Curse has been playlisted heavily on Spotify, leading to over 3.5 million streams. Deservedly so. It bursts in with strings, a restless undercurrent, and a partly inquisitive, partly demanding hook: “I can’t see what the future holds/but I wanna know.” By the chorus, the stadium singalong nature of this smash is clear. Uniting the talents of two leading Australian pop punk bands, this was co-written with Ashton Irwin of 5 Seconds of Summer.

A Million Stars is The Faim’s latest single, showcasing a marked pop sensibility. The appeal hangs on singer Josh Raven’s vocal control and the ability of strong emo songs to create nostalgia for something the listener never experienced but can relate to or long for. In this case, it’s about putting the brakes on teenage excess to appreciate the moment: “stop/there’s a million stars in the sky tonight/lay your head down next to mine.” It’s easy to picture this in a stadium with phones and lighters swaying.  The 90s reggae breakdown is quite a twist, though!

Keep those lighters in the air as the band slow it down even further. Make Believe has all the existential questioning, fighting spirit and melodic turn of the emo classics.

Like A Million Stars earlier, I Can Feel You references excess drinking. Less expected, it mentions INXS and features a jumping dance beat. The oh oh ohs running through it keep it just the right side of pop punk.

My Heart Needs To Breathe is a Lestat lullaby; a My Chemical Romance style arena anthem combined with Fall Out Boy falsetto vocals and liberal swearing. It’s like the stylistic history of emo in 3 minutes! Carrying on the theme of being inspired by their forebears, When It Comes closes the EP with a melodic The Academy Is style ballad with a beat.

With six tracks, Summer Is A Curse seems more in-depth than a standard EP, surely helped along by the work of renowned pop punk producer John Feldmann (blink-182, All Time Low, Good Charlotte). The Faim are clearly excited to share this “window into our world” ahead of their debut full-length album slated for 2019, which has collaborations with Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots and Mark Hoppus of blink-182.

From September 15, The Faim will be tearing it up around Europe supporting Against The Current, including 10 dates in the UK and Ireland. Head over to thefaim.com for full details.

The latest single, A Million Stars, is available from all your favourite streaming sites here.

The Summer Is A Curse EP will be out on September 7 on BMG. You can pre-save the EP on Spotify now.

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