Tender vocals take centre stage on LA songwriter's blend of pianos, strings and electronics

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Lo-Fang - 'Blue Film'

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Lo-Fang – ‘Blue Film’

Despite all manner of (sometimes literal) bells and whistles on Lo-Fang’s debut, the voice of Matthew Hemerlein is undoubtedly its star. The Los Angeles songwriter does tender like James Blake on anti-depressants, his vocals sensitively deployed over baroque arrangements of self-played pianos, strings and electronics. The second half of ‘Blue Film’, in particular, is one epic swoon after another, each song a potential album closer. For all Hemerlein’s prodigious talents, you can only have your heartstrings tugged for so long before it all gets a bit wearing. A portentous cover of ‘You’re The One That I Want’ from Grease will either be the song that lands Lo-Fang a lucrative car advert or the moment when undecided listeners say “Oh come on!” and put on something a little less serious.

Thom Gibbs