Freewheeling rhythms make this an intimate and inventive debut
Kim Taylor Bennett
Hearts on Hold 4/5 Unexpected unions are a wonderful thing. Jack White and Alison Mosshart in The Dead Weather; Danger Mouse and James Mercer in Broken Bells. And now Corrina Repp leaves behind the hushed, folkish delicacy of her solo material and teams up with Joe Haege of playful, mathy rock outfit 31Knots. Together they are Portland’s Tu Fawning, and, fleshed out to a quartet by Toussaint Perrault and Liza Rietz cast mystic, somnambulant spells of swirled and seductive polyrhythmic epics resplendent in organ strains and Repp’s layered vocal, equal parts St Vincent and Beth Gibbons.
‘Sad Story’ begins as a lovelorn vaudevillian waltz, then incorporates a White Stripesian-stomp before building to a cacophony of brass with Repp instructing in her dramatic lilt, ‘Don’t let a man be your sad story’. It can get kind of intense, but they understand that pace is the trick allowing the album to breath at crucial points – on ‘Apples and Oranges’ where Repp and Haege’s vocals forlornly entwine, or during ‘Mouths of Young’ where TF come off like a glitchy, twinkling Beach House. Full of rich textures and freewheeling rhythms, this is an intimate and inventive debut.