Bays, the follow-up to 2013's successful Blackbird.' />

Hypnotic is the best word to describe the sound of Fat Freddy's new album Bays, the follow-up to 2013's successful Blackbird.

Perhaps it's because the group didn't follow their usual European tour agenda over the New Zealand winter, instead focusing on maximum time in the studio creating the tracks, that makes Bays sound even better than Blackbird.

There's an even better cohesion and a forward driving energy providing the backdrop to the subtleties that are provided by way of vocals, tasty brass arrangements and the other embellishments that the band has become known for.

As we've come to expect from Fat Freddy's Drop, it's the whole package of the album that creates the impression of where the group is at, rather than individual tracks.

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For me, the overriding observation is of the evocative and persistent rhythm laid down by the bass, drums and keyboards that set the scene on Bays and deliver that hypnotic feel that you just can't shake.

Once again it's the leadership of Joe Dukie (Dallas Tamaira) that provides the foundations of Bays but this is very much a group effort and reflects a band that is at the very top of its game.

Certainly, there's no mistaking Fat Freddy's sound for any other.

With a comprehensive New Zealand summer tour to follow in the wake of this release, you can only predict an even greater fan base than they already have both at home and in Europe.