Posts filed under ‘Tu Fawning’
A GOOD SELECTION: I love it when a band creates its first video off a new record, and the selected song seems to be picked more for merit than its “radio-friendly” tone. Of course, it’s easier to make that decision when your album is as good as Tu Fawning’s “Hearts on Hold”. It’s a record with filled with dark textures of trombone, trumpet, piano, and haunting vocals. The band just posted a video for their song, “I Know You Now”. The track is eerily cavernous like a Portishead song, with shocks of guitar reminiscent of Marc Ribot’s work for Tom Waits. The lead vocals tread lightly over carnival instrumentation and deep background harmonizing, before hitting the chorus: “I know you now / I know you now / And I won’t forget you.” The video opens in a rural residential area, two children playing in an abandoned construction area. The two boys are playing guns, having their own fantasy shootout, which is both cute and disturbing. It’s a beautiful video. Read an archived Their Bated Breath post about the band’s new record here and here. Note: Image above is a screen capture. It’s a cool part of the video, that has the look of Philippe Halsman’s Salvador Dali photo “Dali Atomicus”, with it mid-air aesthetics and the dreamy pairing of photographer Diane Arbus’ “Identical Twins, Roselle NJ, 1967″. Go see the band at one of its tour stops: Oct. 7 in Carrboro, N.C. at Cat’s Cradle; Oct. 8 in Atlanta, Ga. at Variety Playhouse; Oct. 9 in Nashville, Tenn. at Mercy Lounge; or Oct. 11 in St. Louis, Mo. at Luminary Arts. — David D. Robbins Jr.
A CARNIVAL: Listening to Portland, Oregon quartet Tu Fawning is like taking a twisted, dark carnival ride, with all of its Tom Waits-like clanks, distortions and dissonance. It’s a fun-house of mirrors, full of refractions, reflections. It’s an oddball carnival weaving its way with horns, heavy percussion, tremolo guitar, choruses like howling wind, and industrial loops. The first track, “Multiply a House”, off the band’s debut album, “Hearts On Hold”, is a molasses-drip of a song — about being isolated, and death circling overhead like a hungry vulture. It’s darn-near apocalyptic in it’s witches’ brew chant: “The river’s to shallow / The body won’t sink / The river’s too narrow / To swim to sea / The land is too barren / To even think / Even my enemies, / Don’t bother me / Multiply the house … / Someday, the water rise / You’ll be the only one on the hill alive.“ The vocals are eerily punctuated with every-other-line double-tracking or harmony. It plods forward with the gloom of a horn sounding off like some carrion call for the dead, or a bell-toll signaling something wicked this way comes for the living. The album’s sound shifts frequently. Tu Fawning changes in and out of styles ranging from Portishead gloom, their lead vocals amplified as if by megaphone, to the Spanish flair of “Sad Story”, the piano balladry of “Apples and Oranges” or the almost tribal ghost-dance of “Diamond In The Forest” — with it’s clashing horns, staccato like machine-gun fire, and heavy piano pitter-pattering away like a victim on the run. The songs are about devils, bodies, loneliness, hearts, and the songbird’s song calling out through a pitch black. At their best, Tu Fawning is captivating, and one of the few bands that seem to push drumming to the forefront, setting an almost militant musical undertone to the constant changing of pace, mood, and song structure. It’s an impressive debut. Note: The record will be released via Provenance Records (run by the band itself) on October 5th, 2010, with the European release set for January 1, 2011 through City Slang Records. Read an archived Their Bated Breath post about the band here. — David D. Robbins Jr.