Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: City Slang
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
In the rocky chasm between lust and love, it's often the non-events, the not-quite-happenings, that gain emotional weight. These are the concerns of A Monument, the second LP by Portland's Tu Fawning. "If my skin had scales and colorful details/ We'd travel the roads and never go home," Corrina Repp laments on opener "Anchor". It seems possible she is a woman who literally desires to be reptilian; trailed by a dry shaker rattle, her voice slinks and coils over big drums and arid, rolling guitar, as if already propelled by a hundred tiny bones.
Tu Fawning’s Joe Haege and Corrina Repp are long time veterans of the Portland, Oregon music scene — Haege as a member of the experimentally minded indie group 31Knots, and Repp as a solo folk artist whose hushed and haunting style found its fullest realization on her 2006 album The Absent and the Distant. The band’s 2010 debut, Hearts on Hold was a collaborative effort that pushed both artists in new directions that fused sampling, horns and the dramatic rhythmic flourishes of percussionist Toussaint Perrault. Their new album, A Monument, brims with oscillating keys, bluesy brass stabs, dirty guitars and intricate percussion work.
When Corrina Repp and Joe Haege formed Tu Fawning several years back, the outfit screamed “side project!” Repp had released three solo albums and had earned the reputation as one of Portland, OR’s better female vocalists, while Haege had his own career as the frontman of 31Knots. Even with 2008’s Secession EP and 2010’s Hearts on Hold LP (with Liza Rietz and Toussaint Perrault), Repp and Haege juggled other projects, Repp as a member of Viva Voce in 2009, and Haege as a touring member of Menomena. The hyper-prolific Haege recorded a solo album, acted in a movie, and 31Knots released their seventh record all in 2011, so it would have been easy to believe that this was just an experimental vehicle for its band members.