Fear of Falling of Falling Asleep is the second album from the London-based duo known as TENDER. The pair first met as roommates and released their first project together in 2015, eventually landing them their first record deal. Fear of Falling Asleep features lush synths, ambient soundscapes, and captivating drums while at the same time eloquently discussing the human condition and mental health.
This album captivated me from the second I started to listen to it. I found out about this group after searching for more of their music after hearing one of their more recent singles. I love how to instrumental creates a soundscape for the listener to get lost in and the vocals are so pleasant and dreamy. Although a lot of the introspection and mental health discussion is pretty vague and surface level, it is something that almost everyone can relate to.
In general, I like pretty much every song on every one of the albums I’ll be showcasing over the course of the next couple of weeks. With that being said, here are my 3 favorite tracks off of Fear of Falling Asleep.
Hand Made Ego – This track is the opening song of the album and it sets the tone beautifully. The 808 bass line in the first verse feels familiar to me as a fan of Hip-Hop, while the pulsing synth chords and the soaring guitar lead transport you to a different dimension. The vocal production is airy and dark, perfectly complimenting the instrumentation. I think this song has a really great groove and I enjoy how it moves between different sections.
Fear of Falling Asleep – The titular song of the album, this song is the thesis statement for the project. Compared to many songs on the album, the instrumental feels almost stripped-down, lacking any singularly showstopping element. Despite this, every part works together to build and develop the song, creating an immersive experience; there are many subtle, almost ambient layers that envelop the listener in a moving soundscape. I personally love the little voice snippet of the little boy at the beginning making a statement about life and summarizing the song, “It’s not bad that you can’t fall asleep, It’s not bad that you’re scared of the dark, It’s just something you’re born with I guess.” This song is all about accepting the scary and unknown things in life and living through them; a simple but powerful message.
When They Come For You – The chorus for this song might just be the catchiest on the entire; one of the few moments that will be certain to stick in your head. Despite a strong pop hook, the writers resist the urge to use it frequently; it only appears twice in the entire song, leaving you wanting more of it. The verses of the song have a swagger and drama to them that set a captivating mood; building you up to the great hook. This song has so many cool backgrounds sounds that, much like many other songs on the album, create a soundscape that completely envelops you.
Fear of Falling Asleep is an awesome album that offers a lot for different groups of music fans. Fans of 80s era psychedelic rock will be drawn to unique guitar leads, while fans of pop music and RNB are sure to enjoy the warm vocal production, while EDM fans will love the unique yet classic sound design. The subject matter is relatable and accessible while also being thoughtful and unique. I love this album because of the production and sound, and how that works together with the lyrics to communicate the human experience. Overall, this album is one I highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of music.