Tu Fawning – A Monument
Ever have one of those moments where you feel a string of songs on a certain album is so good that you don’t think you’ll ever be able to get past them and on to the rest of the record? I must confess that this has been happening to me quite regularly with the trio of jaw-dropping songs that kick off Tu Fawning’s majestic second album, ‘A Monument’. Originally conceived as a side project for both Joe Haege and Corrina Repp, Tu Fawning itself has taken on increased importance since 2010′s striking debut, ‘Hearts on Hold’.
It’s no wonder, either – with an album this good under their belts, the duo would do well to make Tu Fawning their musical priority. Besides, their debut has been well and truly left in the shade by its successor. Opening with lead single ‘Anchor’, a gospel-tinged song matched to ferocious tribal intensity which immediately sets out the fact that rhythm takes precedence above all else on the album, it moves first to ‘Blood Stains’, with Repp’s haunting voice akin to what Florence Welch would sound like if she ever dialled down her vocal theatrics and learned to sing; before progressing to the bombastic ‘Wager’, a song which balances restrained verses with a towering chorus, properly taking flight before the second verse and proving that the duo’s new approach is extremely difficult to pin down.
‘A Pose for No One’ scales things back a bit, its steady, pulsing beat coupled with resonant synth bass and some simple yet stunningly effective picked guitar. It also boasts one of the most impressive choruses on the album, content to never fully take off, safe in the knowledge that it has done more than enough without going stratospheric. Tu Fawning’s music is grandiose, but it steers well clear of being self-consciously epic, except, of course, when nothing else will do; the searing guitar solo on ‘Skin & Bone’, for instance, is timed perfectly.
‘A Monument’ can come off as a little intense at times, but those who love hearing music that grips from the very first note and refuses to let go will lap this up. The thrilling, progressive closer ‘Bones’ faces a task nothing short of Herculean, in trying to outdo everything else that has gone before it, but it succeeds wonderfully, shrouded in ominous electronics for its intro, before settling down into passionate (and of course, percussion-filled) verses, before swelling to a powerful finale and bringing the curtain down on an album that just refuses to be pigeonholed, containing 10 appropriately monumental songs, and proving that Tu Fawning should be a much bigger deal than they currently are. ‘A Monument’ could do it for them, though; that much is abundantly clear.
A Monument is out now via City Slang; Bones is streaming here.
Posted by Gareth O’Malley
Tags: 2012, a monument, album review, Gareth O'Malley, Tu Fawning