Just in time for Summer, Fred Everything has returned to the LP format with a stunning homage to the sounds of the Mediterranean. Inspired by recent trips to Mallorca, Ibiza, and Croatia, “Long Way Home” (forthcoming on Fred‘s own imprint, Lazy Days) marks the first major output from his new home studio in Montreal, a city he once again calls home after spending the better part of a decade in San Francisco. With nods to Italo-disco, Dream House, and Electro Funk, the album pays respect to a variety of genres while providing a unique spin on the familiar sounds via the ear of a man with a long and respected history in dance music.
Seemingly inspired by its own ethos, “Long Way Home” is in no rush to get to its peak moments. Instead, it relishes in the space between highs, stretching out fleeting feelings of relaxation by utilizing varying blends of live strings, snappy synths, and dreamy pads. Complimented by vocal contributions courtesy of Sio, Frank Selector, and Jinadu, the album serves as an expertly soundtracked day in the sun; one with vibrant highs, warm lows, and a thoughtful resolve. After the careful anticipations of opening track “Cinema Paradiso,” the intentions of the record continue to unfold over the next few songs, eventually culminating towards the middle of the album. And while all of these earlier tracks undoubtedly succeed in capturing the inspirations of the record, it isn’t until we go a little deeper that we hit one of the album‘s highs. On “Un Dimanche Apres-Midi,” emotionally charged strings, quick synth riffs, and one of the best basslines on the album combine for a smart and memorable track that is a near perfect amalgamation of the album‘s influences.
The Mediterranean sides of these influences are perhaps most evident on Balearic tribute track, Palma — the name itself taken from the capital city of the famous archipelago. With the tasteful use of laidback synths and chilled out percussion, the song is an audible sunset that sets the stage for the final chapter of the album and the remainder of our day by the ocean.
The final vocal entry in the tracklist, “Silver Light (feat. Jinadu)” is a dub-influenced track that welcomes the journey into inevitable darkness and acts as a comforting segue to the final moments of the album. And while the carefree “Wherever You Go” and the high energy “Barbarella” do well to keep our spirits up, the closing track “Something” lets us know that our day has indeed come to an end and it’s time to accept nightfall and reflect on our experience.
Releasing officially (and appropriately) on the first day of Summer (June 21st), “Long Way Home” is a serious contender for Fred‘s strongest work to date, no small sentiment considering his already expansive and respectable catalog. Preorder the album here!