Villagers - 'Fever Dreams'

8/10

Ever since they first arrived back in 2010 with their stunning breakthrough debut 'Becoming A Jackal', Villagers have always looked to create a more euphoric and vivid direction to the fledgling folk-rock sound. Their output since has seen the Conor O'Brien-led project grow from a warm and humble outfit to one of the most desired and captivating names working today. And after a string of prolific and highly-applauded releases over the last decade, they now return with their sixth studio album 'Fever Dreams', a record that sees them explore a more psychedelic edge to their sound.

Over the years, Villagers have always proven themselves to be one step ahead of the scene, but it recently felt like everyone in their ilk was beginning to catch up to them, so we knew a parabolic change was soon on the horizon. And while it isn't as drastic as we initially thought, 'Fever Dreams' does see them spiral out into new and adventurous textures, giving this return a more woozy and textured style from start to finish. Adding a deeper and more vibrant edge to the production this time around, we see them explore a brighter side to their aesthetic, creating this sprawling and spacey feel throughout.

There has never been any doubt to the unbridled genius and invention of Villagers over the years, but 'Fever Dreams' does mark a very special moment for the group. Finding comfort and confidence in a sound that moves away from a normal output is never an easy step, but they make it look incredibly easy, and unveil one of their best works to date.

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