Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

by Fool's Gold


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Leave No Trace

By the time of their second album, L.A.'s Fool's Gold solidified their lineup from an expansive and somewhat amorphous eight-to-twelve-person collective into a condensed five-member band. Correspondingly, perhaps, Leave No Trace largely reins in the freely flowing pan-global jams of the group's debut in favor of a more tightly structured set of songs, a change that turns out to somewhat diminish their music's singularity, if not its fundamental charm. It's not that the defining African and Middle Eastern strains which predominated throughout Fool's Gold -- the layered polyrhythms and, in particular, the gleaming, liquid Afro-pop guitar lines -- are wholly absent here; indeed, they're all right there in opening cut "The Dive," which also gestures toward Brazilian samba in its percussion (and whose central guitar riff is a kissing cousin to first album stand-out "Surprise Hotel.") But the international influences are noticeably toned down and made to share space with more familiar, pedestrian Western rock and pop elements, bringing the group's sound closer to the more generically "tropical-inflected" indie rock of artists like Foreign Born (two of whose members overlap with Fool's Gold) and Vampire Weekend. The band also experiment with adding some squelchy synthesizers and electronic textures, most prominently on "Street Clothes," which veers unexpectedly into full-on '80s art-funk territory, complete with sproingy drum triggers, clavinet, and a chaotically skronking sax. Further diluting the group's multi-cultural spirit, singer Luke Top largely forgoes his native Hebrew this time out to sing in English (save on the bilingual "Tel Aviv.") All of this is fine as far as it goes: the global stew may be watered down, but it hasn't entirely lost its flavor. Leave No Trace still sounds great; the playing is marvelously light and breezy, and these tunes are still enjoyably summery, simmering, and infectiously danceable (if not, on the whole, terribly memorable.) Still, it's hard not to wish Fool's Gold had figured out how to develop and expand their approach without compromising so much of what made their debut so delightfully unique.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/16/2011
Label: Iamsound
UPC: 0656605786223
catalogNumber: 49

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fool's Gold   Primary Artist
Mia Doi Todd   Vocals
Brad Caulkins   Guitar,Keyboards,Saxophone
Luke Top   Bass,Vocals
David Moyer   Flute
Garrett Ray   Percussion,Drums
Lewis Pesacov   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Amir Kenan   Vocals
Sarah Chernoff   Vocals
Sal Placencia   Percussion

Technical Credits

Luke Top   Composer
Michael Harris   Engineer
Eric Palmquist   Engineer
Lewis Pesacov   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Joshua Biedenbach   Concept
Gregory Jewett   Art Direction
Chi Andeleo   Art Direction
Jesse Floming   Band Photo

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