Sharing your name with a long-standing funeral home can have its advantages; F&M just never discovered any of them.
Once the charm of adopting the grisly namesake “Fosters & McGarvey” had worn out, the band swiftly employed a name change to diffuse the confusion and lighten the verbose title all at once.
“Let Every Light Shine” is a return, a re-birth, or a re-start even. Following the release of “We Don’t Talk To Robots...” (shr 2002) the group eventually encountered an identity crisis. The original plan of using a rotating cast of musicians under a darkly humorous moniker dissipated under the stresses of time, studies, and gigging. Something had to give.
Five years later F&M has emerged with a renewed identity and charm. Firmly planted as a duo, the songwriting team of Ryan & Becky Anderson have assembled a stunning album of diverse and profound songs. The self-proclaimed “lo-fi apostles” have cleaned up enough for you to bring home to your parents, but don’t have to get changed before going out with your friends later. Charming, serious, and very, very cool.
“Let Every Light Shine” navigates through a blend of genres and volumes - an F&M trademark. Delicately delivered folk have haunting moments (‘Miracle’, ‘I Pray For Fog’, ‘Jonathan Is Lonely’). Raw indie-rock tracks (Amsterdam, Marquee, Macronomics) trade off with accessible, straight-ahead roots-rock selections (Dial “H” For Help, Leaving A Small Town). And somewhere in the middle are Russian homages and piano ballads.
For F&M, the release of “Let Every Light Shine” may have completed the ironic journey of death to life.