Fake Fever, the NYC-based dream pop project of Andrew Barnes, shares Pressure Tank, the second single from its second LP, ‘Inside The Well’ (due Sept. 1).
Barnes explains the road that led him to create Pressure Tank: “I played in a post rock/shoegaze-y band for many years when I was younger, so this one was kind of a throwback to put together. After spending so much time on this album trying to get more comfortable with verse/chorus/verse/chorus pop songwriting, it was refreshing to dig back into that old bag of slow dynamic-building over simple repetition for the majority of the song. Some songs on this album took over a year to complete, but the bulk of this track was made during one all-nighter session in the summer of 2021 in Richmond, VA right before I had to pack up all my recording gear to make the move to NYC.” You can listen Pressure Tank via Streaming Services.
Nostalgia is a powerful drug. It can provide a quick escape or a warm blanket of comfort in times of need, but what happens when that temporary sugar rush of the past begins to corrode and fade? The longer that NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer Andrew Barnes spent in the nostalgic space that previously defined his chillwave/bedroom pop project Fake Fever, the more he felt these reflective comforts dissipate over time and found the harsh realities of the present staring back more ferociously than ever. After three years of false starts, new surroundings, band-aid ripping, chaotic experimentation, and refinement, what resulted is Fake Fever’s highly-anticipated sophomore full length release – ‘Inside The Well’ – a bittersweet breakup album through the lens of nostalgia.
“When I initially tried to piece together ideas for my 2nd album, I was hitting a wall and slowly realized that I had spent so much time over the last few years trying to recreate this essence of my childhood and my past and existing in this escapist place where I was constantly looking backwards, that I was doing a horrible job of living in the present and trying to progress, both creatively and personally.” Barnes says. “This album encompasses that sometimes-painful process of loosening the grip on the past so that you can free yourself to move forward.”
While the previous Fake Fever full length ‘Surrogate’ made a splash in various online “-wave” circles during the 2020 height of isolation with its hazy, subdued trip through a lazy river of vaporwave-tinged dreams and memories, ‘Inside The Well’ is a much more awake, emotional, and polished slate of pop-centric material. This 11-song, 42-minute yearning, aquatic pop journey fluidly weaves together new genre flourishes to the Fake Fever sound, ranging from shoegaze (Autotoxemia, Pressure Tank) to house (Palace Intrigue) to footwork (Sozu) to 2000s indietronica revival (Graveyard Shift) to drum & bass (Canvasing), with the chillwave ethereality (Coral Ring, Sunrose) and tape-warped melodies (Unknowable) that resonated with listeners on ‘Surrogate’.
Despite the gruelling nature of the journey, this patience and eagerness to learn and grow paid off. ‘Inside The Well’ as a whole showcases Fake Fever with a new confidence honouring the electronic pop sounds and ear-worm video game bleeps of the 90s and 00s while simultaneously maintaining a creative, forward-thinking approach to blissful soundscapes and colourful, hook-laden songwriting that stand tall among Barnes’ chill-wave and dream pop contemporaries.
The vertigo caused by looking down into the unknown depths of the future can often cause us to run away from the edge back towards the security of familiar pleasures and surroundings. What Fake Fever realized while finishing this shimmering new record is that these securities have an expiration date. In order to make true progress sometimes you have no other choice but to throw yourself inside.
‘Inside The Well’ track list
2. Palace Intrigue
3. Coral Ring
8. Pressure Tank
10. Healing Pattern
8/24/23 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Meadows
9/1/23 – Charleston, SC @ Cutty’s
11/4 – Los Angeles, CA @ Catch One