Tu Fawning - "A Monument" CD Review (City Slang) / Show at Glasslands on August 3rd ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tu Fawning - "A Monument" CD Review (City Slang) / Show at Glasslands on August 3rd

Tu Fawning - 'A Monument' CD Review (City Slang) / Show at Glasslands on August 3rd
Portland, OR’s Tu Fawning released their sophomore album, A Monument, today on City Slang. This album marks the first release written and recorded collaboratively as a four-piece. This time out, band leaders Corrina Repp and Joe Haege are joined by Liza Reitz (piano, organ, violin, percussion, vocals) and Toussaint Perrault (synth, trumpet, percussion, vocals).

The nine tracks on this new disc are layered and musically dense and show the band heading down a dark path similar to some of the early 80’s post-punk, gothic bands (Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Birthday Party). While there are some moments of shoe-gazer and indie-rock brightness, most of the tracks are brooding numbers, driven by Repp’s ethereal vocals, hypnotic rhythms, layered syths and chanted choruses. All of the songs are perfect for headphone listening as the band builds up each song organically until it reaches epic proportions.

The disc starts out with “Anchors”, which is a shimmery, reverb-heavy number which features Repp’s emotive vocals backed with a “4AD” style chorus. From there, the band goes into “Blood Stains”, which is a slinky, slow-burning R&B number that would fit perfectly on a David Lynch soundtrack. Moving styles tangentially, “Wager” features Joe Haege on lead vocals and this song captures the best moments of the early 90’s shoegazer bands. Continuing to change directions, the disc goes out with the 7+ minute number “Bones”, which combines a long percussive intro (think White Rabbits) with Repp’s smoky, soulful vocals. The band described a listener’s journey through their new disc as “Lush and romantic at one stop on the journey, followed by sinister bombast at the next destination".

With the lyrics, Repp set out to put a true sense of tenderness front and center in the album; frequently writing lyrics while listening to mixes through headphones in the dark. While working on the words over a concentrated period of time, a common thread began running between them. Each track explores different permutations of what a monument is: the idea of something revered something that represents something else, something pure. In their mix of the sincere and mildly unconventional, the songs explore the connection between the good and bad, the light and dark, the sensuality and earnestness in being alive.

For this new disc, Joe Haege said that the band set out to “capture a feeling that someone listening to it couldn’t easily pin down the era it’s from“. To my ears, Tu Fawning more than achieved their goal and they said it best in an interview with FemaleFirst – “The hiss and crackle of vintage 78 rpm folk records swims alongside sparkling new wave synthesizers, R&B horn blasts interrupt gothic funeral marches, choirs of angels accompanied by demonic guitar distortion.

Tu Fawning US Tour Dates
06-08 Portland - Holocene
06-20 San Francisco - Brick and Mortar
06-21 Los Angeles - The Bootleg Room
06-23 San Diego - Soda Bar
06-24 Santa Cruz, Ca -Crepe Place
07-26 Minneapolis, Mn -7th Street Entry*
07-27 Madison, Wi -U. Of Wisconsin*
07-28 Chicago, Il -Schubas*
07-31 Montreal, Qc - Divan Orange*
08-1 Boston, Ma - Great Scott*

08-2 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge*
Note: This is an early show; Tickets are $10 and AU opens the show with a 6:30PM set time

08-03 Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands*
(No show info posted yet)
08-04 Philadelphia, Pa - Johnny Brenda’s*
* Shows with AU

Tu Fawning