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- Hearts On Hold by Tu Fawning
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8/10 John Bloor Customer review, 10th January 2011
Slowly, almost funereal in its meter, this new Tu Fawning album"Hearts on Hold" begins. A solitary trumpet, echoing drums, and the same wonderful female vibrato vocal seemingly echoing out from the crackly, thermionically recorded past.
I don't like to mention influences too much but I get the feeling they have taken the lifeless body of Portishead and have brought it back using ancient electrical gear. Indeed, by the second song, distorted organ tones seem to be accompanying the proceedings adding to the dark atmosphere.
But, this sound they've brought to life is a lot more than just old air. As the album progresses it fills with life, delivering some brilliant songs with a cut up, trip-hop feel plus choppy, reverby electric guitars combined with creaky old brass and the soaring vocals. Later, there's some guitar strangling going on, muted trumpet, and echoey piano, the notes hanging in the air like dust. Hypnotic, droning drums beat out these downbeat rhythms. And this has to be the first droney music I've ever heard with trombones in!
While the music feels incredibly sad and downbeat, with the same feeling of hearing "from a distance" that I felt with the first album, the gorgeous ensemble spaces they create with these instruments really draws me in.
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