If there’s one thing I know about the band Fur, it’s their talent for crafting melodies. This is evident throughout their extensive six-year discography. Despite the emergence of numerous indie rock bands in British guitar music at the time, Fur managed to establish their own unique sound. While I initially noticed a clear influence from The Strokes (as many guitar bands did after ‘Is This It’), Fur’s music has less of the typical garage/punk aesthetic. Instead, they draw from a wide range of musical styles and influences, creating a sound that is distinctly their own.

Their debut album, ‘Facing Home Mixtape’, is a skillfully executed and incredibly catchy indie-rock effort. It incorporates elements of distant, sun-soaked surf rock reminiscent of The Beach Boys, as well as the melodic sensibilities of Arctic Monkeys’ ‘AM’ and the balladry of The Last Shadow Puppets. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I highly recommend checking out songs like ‘Existential Crisis in G Major’, ‘Waiting on You (Coming Back Home)’, and ‘You’. Another standout track is ’17 to 8′, an indie ballad with driving energy that brings to mind early Turin Brakes, but with even more melody and rhythm.

Their sophomore release, ‘When You Walk Away’, continues the sonic experimentation of their debut but with a longer runtime and a more textured sound. Fur was clearly on an upward trajectory in their musical journey.

And it seems that they are still on that path. In their most recent offering, the three-piece band takes a more melancholic route. From this exploration, they have created ‘Brother’, a stripped-back track that serves as a preview of their upcoming album, set to be released later this year. ‘Brother’ is a song filled with both pain and beauty, and it carries a haunting vulnerability.

The song is composed of softly strummed guitar and tender, melancholic vocals by frontman Will Murray. It consists of just four chords in the verses, with some melodic variations in the pre-chorus to add depth. The track concludes with desolate, reverb-heavy vocalizations, allowing the listener to glimpse the broken heart at its core. The guitar and Murray’s somber vocals work in harmony, immersing the listener in the subject matter of the song. ‘Brother’ was conceived by Murray and the band as a tribute to loss, specifically the loss of a friendship that had become like family. The pain and heartbreak that fill the void left by this loss are palpable. The lyrics reflect the bond that was formed (“you and I, we know all there is to know, about one another, like we’re sister and brother”) and the longing to hold on and understand why it had to end (“hold the line, see you one last time, why’d you have to go, maybe that’s for you to know”). The track taps into the universal despair of losing someone after building a strong and genuine connection, and the realization that the reasons for it happening may never be fully understood. It is likely that Murray’s eventual move to Australia after the release of their third album served as the emotional inspiration for this track. If that is indeed the case, then ‘Brother’ is a bittersweet foreshadowing of what is to come on their album.

In a music landscape that often prioritizes dense production, intricate instrumentation, and expansive soundscapes, ‘Brother’ is a reminder that even the simplest songs can be equally poignant. While I don’t expect ‘Brother’ to capture the full essence of Fur’s upcoming release, considering their consistently complex musical outputs in previous years, it is still a song that resonates on a personal level due to its exploration of loss. For that reason alone, ‘Brother’ deserves your attention. Keep your ears ready for their forthcoming album, set to be released later this year.