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Listening to “Hologram” by the band Founds is to hear the sound of young Scandinavia crossed with the English countryside. The track sounds like a mix between Sigur Ros and The Sundays and Shelleyan Orphan, all moody Icelandic art-rock leavened with a dash of pastoral British alterna-folk. It’s a sound that seems to embody the upper latitudes of the northern hemisphere.
So it’s a bit jarring to discover the band actually hails from Brisbane, Australia – a city with a sub-tropical climate perched at the edge of the Coral Sea about midway between Sunshine Coast and Surfer’s Paradise. The image “Holograms” conjures up is of wintry fjords or rainy meadows, not of a large urban/beach resort area just up the coast a bit from where gold-bikinied meter maids are making sure the surfers never get parking tickets.
Chalk it up to some people just being displaced on the globe, because no matter where they’re physically located Founds have the north Atlantic in their souls. The vocals (by either Kirstie or Elle-Louise – I’ve not found a source that identifies the members in any way beyond their first names) have a definite but unidentifiable lilt to them, sounding alternately like the Icelandic Bjork, the Irish Dolores O’Riordan, or the English Harriet Wheeler. Musically, the band explores the swirling dream-pop of Sigur Ros with a bit more forward momentum than the Icelanders usually care to exhibit but with the same upward thrust. Founds are not afraid to rock while they dream and the way that “Holograms” builds to its soaring climax is a thing of beauty.
It’s difficult to think of a location that would seem less suited to produce first-rate Scandinavian pop than a beach community in the southern hemisphere, but Founds have managed to do it. Like the hologram of its title, the Aussie combo has managed to conjure up a more than lifelike image of something where logically it ought not to exist. Founds have managed to relocate the edge of the Arctic Circle to the Pacific tropics.
Founds released a digital single of “Holograms” as a free download on their Bandcamp page this past June.