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Emerald Eyes

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Album Review

Fight Bite's Emerald Eyes is full of lavish dream pop that sounds like it was made with thrift store and toy instruments. The duo swaths stiff drum machine beats and unabashedly cheap-sounding keyboards in piles of reverb and Leanne Macomber's bewitchingly wispy vocals, coming across like Julee Cruise or the Cocteau Twins on a shoestring budget. The way Fight Bite's innocent instrumentation and often minor-key melodies combine is also more than a little reminiscent of Beach House, although they avoid that band's emotional peaks and valleys, opting for gentle melancholy instead. However, Emerald Eyes has plenty of heartbroken songs, including the standout "Swissex Lover." Equal parts woozy and dramatic, the chorus "I'm sure that I will never never love again" would be melodramatic if the song didn't sound so misty and Macomber and Jeff Louis III's singing wasn't so resigned.

Most of Emerald Eyes plays like a soothing murmur, letting textures drift across melodies and placing atmosphere above immediacy. "Strings"' blankets of vocals and synths cover any harsh edges the song might have had, along with most of its words, but that almost tangible lushness is so appealing that it doesn't need to be conventionally catchy. But while Emerald Eyes' muffled sound takes Fight Bite even further into the clouds, sometimes this obscures just how well-written their songs are, as on "Widow's Peak," which buries its hooks and rhythms in reverb and hiss. This audio fog rolls away on brisker, more overtly pop songs like "Age of Faith" and "Small Wonder," that offer a refreshing change from the rest of the album's sleepy softness. It's tempting to want Fight Bite to tiptoe out of the ether — or at least get a bigger recording budget — next time around, but Emerald Eyes is an often enchanting debut that defines the band's sound and also leaves plenty of room to expand on it.

Customer Reviews

something new to tickle your ears...

existing in the space between lo-fi 4-track cassette demos and the most opulent david lynch end title, "emerald eyes" plays to strengths and limitations of this denton, texas duo.  in an age of over-produced tunes and half-hearted songwriting, these two have carved out a niche for themselves self-producing deceptively demo sounding material that gets under your skin and works its way into your subconscious. it might be easy to categorize this as dream pop, which would be a fine compliment that the creators may enjoy, but, i believe something deeper is at work here.  stand out tracks include, "spring rain" the title track, "emerald eyes" and the seductive, "swissex lover". their palette harkens back to 4ad's this mortal coil, cocteau twins and slower tracks from m83's saturdays=youth. whisper hushed vocals, backing tracks awash in reverb so as to blur the lines between one instrument and the next.  certainly a band worth keeping your eye on, fight bite will draw you in, stay with you long after you listen and fill the time between midnight and dawn in the most seductive way. and isn't that just what you need from a new lover?


Formed: Denton, TX

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Denton, TX's dream pop duo Fight Bite consist of vocalists/keyboardists Jeff Louis and Leanne Macomber, who craft a synth and drum machine-driven haze reminiscent of late-'80s/early-'90s acts like Julee Cruise and This Mortal Coil (as well as contemporaries like Beach House). Macomber began writing what would become Fight Bite songs that didn't fit the mood of the louder, more rock-oriented bands she was in at the time; after seeing Louis' band Teenage Symphony play, she asked him if he would collaborate...
Full Bio
Emerald Eyes, Fight Bite
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Customer Ratings