Thing of the Day
Tu Fawning put their Hearts on Hold
February 3rd 2011
THING OF THE DAY today is Portland’s TU FAWNING – They have a rather unique sound, they’re a fine collective of songsmiths and multi-instrumentalists founded by Joe Haege (from old Organ favourites 31Knots as well as Menomena) and Corrina Repp. The two of them released an EP ( the Secession EP, on Polyvinyl) in 2008, and then doubled in size when long time collaborators Toussaint Perrault and Liza Rietz joined full time last year.
They have that hint of 31Knots in there, the solid songwriting, though the vocal styles and those rich voices take them to completely different pastures. Lush, full bodied, still with that boundary defying experimental edge, all very easy to listen to, nothing hard-boiled or difficult, just beautifully resonant songs, very much songs, torch songs, experimental lushness.
Tu Fawning’s debut album is
called Hearts on Hold,
it just came out. They play a free gig at the Old Blue Last in
London on February 17th, their only UK date of a European tour
Their MySpace is here - www.myspace.com/tufawning
Their proper website is here - www.tufawning.com
Here's a 31 Knots review from the Organ archive:
Organ #269 August 7th 2008
31KNOTS - Worried Well (Polyvinyl) - Oh dear. This is a nightmare. I've tried to shove this in a nice neat pigeonhole so that I can go to bed, (it is 3.00am afterall!) it just... won't... fit. Stubborn 31Knots have been tormenting music reviewers this way for six albums now. They're consistently good, and Worried Well is really good, so no getting out of it that way.
They're a rock band, gigging and building as they roam the
American live underground, straddling indie and heaviness, strongly
song-based and easy to grasp but filled with subtle twists.
Singer/guitarist Joe Haege builds it all around lyrics of clear-cut
strangeness, balanced between straightforward, square rhymes and
imaginative twists. Everything about them is contradiction, a balancing
of opposites - big sound, big spaces, a drummer and a bassist (Jay
Pellici and Jay Winebrenner) who strip it to the bone one moment and
take it to progressive intensity at the next. Despite their
avant-guard flourishes and hints, those songs have impact that would
take them into the realms of the rather big and successful.
Intelligent, slightly strange song-based rock that doesn't sound like
Radiohead... now that's novel. Reluctantly distracting from the
distinctiveness of Haege's voice and delivery... there's a little bit
of the Police, a comparison with Muse, surprising reminders of Sparks;
previous albums have had occasional Yes moments.
Worried Well has all the distinctive personal feel of previous 31Knots albums, the band seem to have poured even more into the songs, though - more creative production, new sounds, more adventures. There's a storytelling sweep to it, possible threads of a theme. Their tempered, grown-up kind of angst (i.e. real rather than emo histrionics) that gets expressed with a bit of theatre, Haege revealing his preacher side on the impressive Compass Commands, help of female chorus and sudden juxtaposition of simple chorus and pocket-sized prog riffage. 31Knots are easy to describe after all - straightforward and complex, playground rhymes for complicated adults. And... really really good. Their finest album yet? www.polyvinylrecords.com or www.myspace.com/31knots