Tu Fawning, Hearts On Hold
Portland, Oregon’s Tu Fawning began as a collaboration between Corrina Repp and Joe Haege but has turned into an eclectic assemble of adventurous song-smiths and multi-instrumentalists – enter newer members Toussaint Perrault and Liza Rietz. The band’s first full-length, Hearts On Hold, is not to be taken lightly; this reviewer felt the beginnings of mini-anxiety attacks before every track and loved every bit of it.
Opening track and lead single, “I Know You Now” is a funeral march set to distorted Latin guitar chords, tweaked ragtime organ samples and Death’s personal choir. It’s a freaky, oddball number and there really isn’t anything else like it, but it sums up Tu Fawning’s sound perfectly. The dark flourishes of “I Know” sets the tone for the album, leading into “The Felt Sense” and its tribal dream sequence before continuing on to the jazz-noir waltz, “Diamonds”. Only by the fourth track, “Sad Story” do we hear any recognizable melodies, but like their major influence – Tom Waits – the band is happy to delve back into the mud with brooding elegance (see “Apples” and “Mouths Of Young”). Signing off with the jovial (Yes, an upbeat track!); “Just Too Much” suggests that the band has much more to explore.
Tu Fawning have put together a challenging album that will take multiple listens to fully realize and enjoy; already Hearts On Hold has set the bar pretty high for any other band debuting in 2011. (City Slang)
Rating: 4/5 Stars