The Fiery Furnaces – EP (CD Review)

This compilation bridges the gap between ‘Blueberry Boat‘ and the new, as yet unnamed, album. Exclusively made up of the tracks taken from previous single releases this could be considered a release for completists only. However, the tracks hold together extremely well as an album in their own right and chances are you will not have all of them anyway. Compared to ‘Blueberry Boat‘ these songs are more jaunty and upbeat, sometimes in contrast with the darker tone of the lyrics.

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Eleanor’s curiously clipped vocals makes the vocals and lyrics central to songs like the album opener (and previous single in its own right) ‘Single Again’. The blending of a slightly hysterical tone that sometimes becomes distanced brings an unusual and captivating depth to the Fiery Furnaces. Matt’s relatively rare vocal contributions are, in contrast, warmer and tend to linger about the tune to a greater extent. In the case of ‘Sing For Me’ they are the glue that holds the song together. This vocal eccentricity is accentuated by the experimental approach taken with the other instruments, each often pushed just beyond the expected and collectively they battle by taking wild swings in terms of warmth, tempo and genre. Against the odds, this is far from a mess and the strained (dis)agreement between all the instruments creates a sound that is unique, exciting and extremely engrossing.

The Fiery Furnaces are working in Chicago on new material with their Grandmother (who, it is planned, will feature duetting with Eleanor).

Label : Rough Trade

Release Date : 24 January 2005

Website :


  • Single Again
  • Here Comes The Summer
  • Evergreen
  • Sing For Me
  • Tropical Iceland
  • Duffer St George
  • Smelling Cigarettes
  • Cousin Chris
  • Sweet Spots
  • Sullivan’s Social Slub


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