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Monday, 06 February 2023


Where do you go when you can’t take it anymore? A question posed by philosophers and loners alike for a millenia that only leads to more questions. The answers as expansive as they are limited, dictated by a moment’s state of mind and communicated solely through action. A healthy approach to such a question answers through song or any constructive activity that refuses to indulge the hopelessness that “it” entails. 

‘Sanitarium’, Fencer’s lead single off their imminent self-titled debut album relegates this hopelessness to the air above. While the body lingers in its depressive state and the mind moves at a goldfish’s pace, Fencer’s resolve to ‘build a sanitarium in the sky’ is one of the more poetic solutions to the dwindling spirit of a burgeoning emo band. There have been murmurs that the analog sound formerly known as “music” is slowly gaining steam. While individualistic Emo-tech has resurrected the genre and pacified those coming of age, the pendulum is swinging back to The Industry’s public enemy number one: the band. Through thoughtful lyrics, engaging structure and shared ability to play tangible instruments, Fencer offers the feel and freshness of a garage band to a generation who would be forgiven for thinking that was just something that came on their MacBook. 

Creating a through line of sound and color, the ‘Sanitarium’ video deepens the scope of Fencer’s world, building on their preceding videos and other visual aids. Opening with our aforementioned question, we meet our loner boy protagonist languishing on a solitary swing in the middle of a vast body of water. His only companion is a tauntingly distant mailbox. His head replaced by a blue box once recognized as a desktop monitor. His face, a placid black screen. The sea quickly evaporates to the next frame and our friend is now hanging out aboard a ship’s skeleton, equally as stranded on dry land. His first mate is a Donald Duck plush and his phone, once Fencer Blue, has been weathered to match its place in history. Without the possibility of a connection, our boxy friend bounces around searching for other blue things and places with vibrant color adrift in a dry, sandy gray and forgotten inland town. 

Once friends are found they are equally as faceless, though much more unsettling. These players convey the feeling that when you’re searching for a break, getting kicked in the head is better than being alone. Chasing a dream can bring both things, but when you find yourself in the rubble of screens at least you have the music to come back to. 

Ultimately, Fencer’s ‘Sanitarium’ despite its glorification of mediocrity transcends above its own expectations to become a solid single that builds excitement for what’s to come. Be sure to tune into your platform of choice for “Fencer” the album and come see these angsty boys and their instruments at The Mint on February 27th. Hunnypot Approved.

-Robyn Dee

Written by  Hot Tub Johnnie
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