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Us and Them — An Introduction to Us and Them
(Fruits de Mer intro 1, 2023, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2023-07-10

An Introduction to Us and Them Cover art

As Fruits de Mer Records turns 15 this year, Keith Jones decided to begin releasing a series of retrospective albums of some of the artists who’ve been on the label since its early days. Plus this new series is a departure from the primarily vinyl-only label, as the CD media appears to be in decline now, just as vinyl was back in 2008 when Keith and Andy Bracken launched the label. The Swedish acid folk duo Us and Them is the first featured artist with An Introduction to Us and Them. At Exposé we’ve covered the majority of the Us and Them music on this retrospective and it is a joy to have these carefully curated songs all in one place. Twelve of the songs have appeared on a variety of FdM releases, and the final four are from Us and Them releases. Perhaps the best song on this compilation, also my first Us and Them experience back in 2009, is their hauntingly beautiful merging of Pink Floyd’s eerie “Julia Dream” with the traditional English lullaby “All the Pretty Horses.” The melody of “Julia Dream” was loosely based on this lullaby and the nearly seven minute song is pure genius. My other favorite song on this compilation is Us and Them’s setting of Edgar Allen Poe’s eerie poem “Annabel Lee” to music for a nine minute journey through their acid folk universe. In between there are selected covers of Tudor Lodge, The Hollies, Sandy Denny, and The Wicker Man soundtrack, in addition to their original tunes. You cannot go wrong with Us and Them, just let their music envelope you in its warm soothing textures as it chases the nightmares away. A big thank you to FdM for this wonderful collection of essential Us and Them songs, as well as showing the maturation of the Us and Them sound!

Filed under: Archives, 2023 releases

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