Getting to know U.K. act Ten Fé

Ten Fé plays the Bunkhouse on April 6.
Photo: Abi Raymaker / Courtesy
Annie Zaleski

Who: A U.K. indie-rock band originally formed by Leo Duncan and Ben Moorhouse—a pair of buskers who cut their teeth playing on the Tube in London—that recently expanded to a quintet.

Sound: The band’s second album, Future Perfect, Present Tense, is touted in press materials as finding “the sweet spot between the woozy drawl of [The] War on Drugs and the taut melodrama of Fleetwood Mac.” That only tells part of the story. Moody basslines conjure New Order’s salad days or the darker past of The Cure, while the driving piano-pop approach of other tracks recall early-’00s U.K. favorites like Keane and Travis.

Spin: The gorgeous, acoustic “Won’t Happen,” which wouldn’t sound out of place on The Go-Betweens’ 16 Lovers Lane; the Springsteen-writes-for-an-’80s-teen-movie-soundtrack vibe of “Coasting”; the synth-dazzled glam lullaby “Superrich.”

Why it’s resonating: Indie rock’s love affair with all things retro—breezy Laurel Canyon country-rock, ’70s classic rock, glossed-up ’80s heartland rock ’n’ roll—shows no signs of abating. Look no further than Vampire Weekend’s jammier sound, Modest Mouse’s guns-blazing heavy-metal riffage on new single “Poison the Well” and The War on Drugs’ moody Dire Straits-isms.

Plus: As the vinyl (and now cassette) revival has shown us, modern popular culture is fascinated with analog times, when music was perceived to be more tangible, and absorbing new sounds was an active, personal process. At the same time, streaming has made these bygone days feel more present and accessible, if not romanticized—all of which Ten Fé understand and taps into.

What’s next: Ten Fé is on a cross-country U.S. tour before the band will hop back across the pond for a nearly month-long U.K. and European tour.

TEN FÉ with Naked Elephant. April 6, 8 p.m., $10-$12. Bunkhouse Salooon, 702-982-1764.

Tags: Music, Bunkhouse
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