Indie dream pop duo The Fur. from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, concoct a uniquely breezy sound that glides across your ears providing the ultimate pleasurable listening experience. Founded in 2016, members Yoz and Zero have been through a lot together and use those profound life encounters as inspiration for their stunning, wistful offerings. Yoz who is in charge of songwriting and Zero who takes care of the musical arrangements, make a seamless pair.
Their latest album Serene Reminder is like a series messages responding to all the madness we have experienced throughout 2020. Though life may feel as if we are on a tilt-a-wheel spinning out of control, it is surprising to see a state of calm during these unprecedented circumstances. The album displays the need to rise above and showcase resilience and strength. We spoke with The Fur about the message behind Serene Reminder, Taiwanese heritage and more.
Your album Serene Reminder possesses a rare angelic, wistful sound. It touches on a difficult year full of many changes where life may feel as if it is completely off course. The only solace is the consistency of this new normal. Can you explain more about what this album means to you?
Yoz: Serene Reminder might be the most important album of my life as it noted down the steps of my ascended awareness. It had been over a year of writing, composing, and recording during the production period and it all happened in the year 2020. We often feel fun how God being so professional in arranging events because whatever we encountered this year, it all reflects and relates to the idea of the album. The album is a conclusion of what we have been through this year, a significant year for everyone to become more patient and mentally stronger.
The Taiwanese musician Yuchain Wang produced Serene Reminder. What was your experience like collaborating with such a prolific talent?
It was a wonderful experience for me. We certainly have learned a lot from Yuchain Wang about the music-making and recording details. It is like a long-term course during the recording session because you need to maintain the best quality of your body every day, and lots of inner conversation to keep a strong mind so as to have things going and be better. It’s like a rock climber or a marathon runner training. I’d love to have it happen again.
The vibrant track “Oh Why” details how hard it is to be vulnerable in relationships and really get to know one another, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is deep chemistry. What was your creative process when concocting this release?
Yoz: I once heard an astrologer said that people who were born during specific years would have the tendency to suppress their feelings towards the ones they love. And indeed, in certain generations, the relationships are so hard to be developed just because of the worry of being rejected. Yet, languages and all kinds of physical ways to communicate are enough to be frustrating. That is why I wanted to talk about it as I’m happened to be in the generation and I cherish so much of those invisible connections.
Your track “Friday Love” has a laid-back sound reminiscent of bands like Best Coast. What inspired this intoxicating offering?
Yoz: The inspiration for Friday Love is from The Cure-Friday I’m love. (But we love Best Coast too for sure) As I wrote Friday Love, it is clear that the song is about to be presented in the 80s to 90s alternative rock sound, and so it does. The song contains layers of guitars, retro drums and synth sounds. I love it too.
The stunning album slows things down concluding with “Car of Yours”. Can you tell us more about this gentle track?
Yoz: We usually discuss the order of the songs when we have a clearer picture of what to include in an album. But as I finished writing Car of Yours I know immediately that it is going be at the end of the album. It is also the beginning of the album. It has no confusion and with clarity of which direction to go. It is calm with a steady pace. And that is how we are like after a crazy journey ends before we step into another.
Being an indie-pop group from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, how has growing up there influenced your unique sound?
Yoz: I was born and grew up in Taichung. My parents were busy so I mostly having fun alone when I was little. My dad plays varied traditional instruments like erhu or samisen but I never get interested in those. I dig into shoegaze and dream-pop music when I was in high school. At the time dad gave me an acoustic guitar.
Zero: Kaohsiung is a harbor city in southern Taiwan. It is in a slower living pace compared to the capital city Taipei. Also wider roads than those in Taipei. This city gave me lots of nutrition and it mostly attributes to kind interaction between people and the spacious scenes. I think people would also sense those characteristics in our music.
I understand for Yoz, when it comes to songwriting you examine the truths of the world around you and incorporate that into your work. Can you explain in more detail what that songwriting process is like?
Yoz: It is a multi-tasking process. I aim to tell a complete story. It is both fun and challenging when you aim to do so in a fixed structure. I think about the world, the lessons, the words, the syllables, the meaning, and the melodies.
Lastly, how did you both meet and what do you think make the two of you the ideal team?
Zero: Yoz and I knew each other after graduated from university. We used to send demos to each other just for fun. In late 2016, Yoz went to a job interview, and as she walked out of the interview room, we got notified that our song is selected for a music festival compilation album. That is when The Fur. starts. We always have a different point of view on things, but weirdly that is also why we always take good care of jobs because nothing is missed. We grew up together as we finished two albums and a single and we went through 2020 together so I guess yes so far we’re the best partners.
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photos / Puzzleman Leung
story / Chloe Robinson