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A Magazine for Sheffield

Fondness If You Have Nothing You Have Nothing To Worry About

Art-pop combo Fondness return with a three-track EP of intelligent songcraft that establishes their credentials for a full album later in the year.

Released: 15 August 2022
If You Have Nothing You Have Nothing To Worry About

It was back in February 2021 when this reviewer was lucky enough to write about Western Approaches, the positively uplifting EP from Sheffield, Rotherham and London-based art-pop group Fondness. Since then, a self-styled “soaked in pop” single ‘Celebrations’ has been released, followed up by this failed pandemic romance sourced three-track EP If You Have Nothing You Have Nothing To Worry About, albeit that sentiment may not resonate when your winter electric bill lands on your doormat.

It's fair to say, Fondness have an admirable penchant for clever titling, so it's no surprise that EP opener ‘Bees As A Body Politic’ keeps that bar resolutely high. Touchpoints and influences permeate a track that stands testimony to how much the band have raised their game. Sure, you can point to prog influences such as quirky Yes time signatures and a drum coda that's pure nineties Genesis, but the strength of harmonies, musicianship and – damn it – good songwriting is to be applauded.

‘BGCA’ channels Elbow with a nice touch of English whimsy in the lyric: "Soon it will be impossible / to teach him how to read the cricket scores". Ethereal sonics and a thoughtful mid-song lounge lizard guitar break show the band aren't afraid to mix up the formula. Closer ‘On A Devon Island’ has an air of Sea Power to its atmosphere, with vocals indulging in a symbiotic dance with spiralling guitars and keys to great effect.

I've said before that sometimes band progress is served well via the EP, an underestimated vehicle. This three song set is very much a case in point, proving that Fondness certainly now have the tunes, songcraft and confidence to step up to LP level. On this showing, they've got nothing to worry about.

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