Fievel Is Glauque, “God’s Trashmen Sent to Right the Mess”
By Miles Bowe · January 08, 2021 Merch for this release:
Cassette, Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Fievel Is Glauque primarily consists of multi-instrumentalist Zach Phillips and singer Ma Clément, but on stage they expand to become a massive band of revolving players. Their kaleidoscopic debut album God’s Trashmen Sent To Right The Mess weaves together recordings from roughly 30 musicians in five separate bands over 20 songs blending jazz-fusion, pop, lounge, and soul, but all of it fits together to create a single joyful vision.

As a songwriter, Phillips has worked at a breathless pace the past decade, both as part of the experimental pop project Blanche Blanche Blanche and under his own name. In fact, some songs on God’s Trashmen, like the bossa nova shuffle of “Decoy,” the post-punk rush of “Unfinding,” or the charming opener “The Perfect Idiot,” appear in different renditions on older albums. But that only serves to highlight the “lightning-in-a-bottle” energy captured in each of these sessions. Because each of the tracks boasts a different lineup of musicians, the album maintains a sense of spontaneity — one highlight of which is saxophonist Shoko Igarashi’s vibrant solo on “Simple Affairs”— and the decision to shuffle those different lineups across the album’s tracklist makes the whole thing feel irresistibly freewheeling.

All of these wild sonic directions are held together by Brussels-based singer Clément, who effortlessly delivers earworm after earworm, regardless of which group of musicians is playing behind her. Drifting between English and French, her elastic delivery is a constant surprise — whether it’s her tumbling wordplay on “Sweet Tooth,” the luxurious funk of “We’re Lost,” or the stunningly warm “Hit Me Now,” which feels like a lost Yo La Tengo classic. God’s Trashmen Sent To Right The Mess is a marvelous debut, with countless thrilling musical flights of fancy, and a rock-solid partnership at its core.

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