Synth-pop duo FancyNormal have dropped a debut EP with stellar production, substantive songwriting, and undeniable danceability.
The Melbourne based FancyNormal is made up of two compelling individuals. First, Noni, who moved to Australia from Jakarta and used her incredible singing chops as an emotional release. Then, Jules, a classical piano player-turned punk bassist, producer, and synth powerhouse.
FancyNormal embodies the slick synth-pop sensibilities of Carly Rae Jepson and the intentional adoption of ’80s influences from The 1975, making for an attractive brand of music. Their five track, debut EP Starters & Appetizers, despite its title, has plenty to digest. So, let’s get into it.
The EP is concept-driven, with Noni analysing past decisions and taking “some of that complicated mess that all of us generally walked through and share it through the most romantic era ever of 80s synth-pop”. The result is light sounding songs with lyrical substance for those wanting to take a bite.
Opener Butterflies & SSRIs gently introduces the listener to the soundscape, with some ambient production. By the end, the synths are pulsing and the drums echo like they’re being played in an auditorium. Ultra Passion is a tight groove that exudes horniness, only for the listener to realise later it’s about a failed relationship – “This is the part where you don’t call me back for days and days”. Ooft.
Sober Spacemen is the zenith of the EP, right in the middle. Colourful synth chords and warm production embellishments wash over you, while a spacey snare rocks your spine. Noni’s rich timbre and natural knack for melody are a total standout here as well. Also, there’s a saxophone solo, because… ’80s baby.
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Sad Champagne is disco-dancefloor fuel with its slapping bass and steady drums. If you’re not boogieing around, try to catch the lyrics. There are some piercing observations on heartbreak to latch onto.
FancyNormal closes the EP with Private Wine. It’s a deep cut that relishes in its emotions and gives plenty of space for Noni’s tone to ring through. We’d recommend listening when the parties over for some sweet melancholic, cathartic release. “Think I found my dance, but I don’t know”. Keep dancing and creating FancyNormal; the rooms will fill up before you know it.
Listen to Starters & Appetizers below: