'Stop and Stare’ is the euphoric third single from British synth-pop newcomers Fenech-Soler, a three-piece hailing from Northamptonshire. Just in time for Summer, Fenech-Soler’s breezy, electronic pop is destined for the cars and Ipods of the Ray Ban wearing festival goers.
Ben, Ross and Dan have already amassed quite an assembly of famous support – having recently completed a Groove Armada support slot and collaboration, they were also asked to provide the remix of Marina and The Diamond’s hit ‘Hollywood.’ Not to mention being signed to Radio 1 DJ's Jaymo and Andy George's label Moda Music. This all may have helped propel their profile, but the hype is solely based on their chart-friendly breed of 80’s pop, Ibiza dance and nu-rave art-rock. Ok, so they’re not exactly peddling anything groundbreaking. These days I would be surprised if an artist didn’t come armed with a Pet Shop Boys twang; we’ve already had Cut Copy, Klaxons, Friendly Fires etc. Even much of Robbie Williams’ last record was laden with synth-pop. What makes Fenech-Soler stand out is that they are secure in being a ‘pop’ band. Cut Copy and Friendly Fires would rather have their pop-tinged rock perceived as art-rock. Upon listening to ‘Stop and Stare’ I didn’t catch myself trying to explain what genre it is, and I didn’t get distracted by pretentious ‘artsy’ undertones.
‘Stop and Stare’ starts with some quiet, nippy synths, slowly introducing some piano chords and a tumbling drum fill until the uplifting, all-out club anthem kicks in. The vocals are fitting and competent, but nothing extraordinary, and the resemblance to Calvin Harris is hard to ignore – the climax before the last chorus recalls the climax of Dizzee’s Calvin Harris-produced ‘Holiday’ – but the layered percussion, soaring chorus and perfect production make for a catchy and welcome pop song. At first you might decide you hate it, but it becomes increasingly hard to keep that smile repressed the more you listen to this summery single.