(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Album Review: Falls – Into the Fire EP

By on Friday, 21st February 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

Sydney folk duo Falls – who have evidently dropped the “The” from their name in the last couple of weeks, much to my disappointment! – have just released their debut EP in America, called ‘Into the Fire’. The title track was the song they ended their set with at the Hamilton last month supporting Bronze Radio Return. The singer/songwriter genre isn’t my usual area of expertise, but you’d have to be made of stone to not melt from Falls’ melodies. This new EP for the American market features six songs, and the quality on the songs on here is astonishing and will no doubt serve as a great first introduction to new stateside fans.

Much has been made of the fact that Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown were once a couple. But when you listen to their voices harmonising perfectly together on recording, all you will want to do is say a silent thank you that they stuck it out and together for the sake of music: sometimes destiny works in mysterious ways and dictates that holding on to a relationship, even if it’s turned into a platonic and professional one, still can lead somewhere beautiful. The EP begins ever so pleasantly with ‘Please’, the duo’s shining harmonies paired wonderfully with guitar, repeated piano notes and strings.

‘Girl That I Love’ is not actually what you might expect: Rudston-Brown takes the lead from the start and explains in the first verse that the girl on his mind “makes me mad as hell” and “makes me want to run away from it all”, and as the song continues, it tells the painful story of how it’s necessary to leave someone even if you love that person so much, because you know that person can never bring you happiness. Interestingly, the song goes from major to minor halfway through the song, as if to reflect this change from lightness to sad realisation. Following on a similar theme, EP title track ‘Into the Fire’ has the immortal lines, “I’m waiting for an answer that’s not coming / I’m running in a race that’s not worth running”: when you’re in a relationship and you aren’t getting the answers you need, it’s probably time to cut your losses and make a break. Even if it hurts like all hell as Kirwin sings about the finality, “I’m going to burn in the fires for what I’ve done, oh oh oh, can’t be undone”. Somehow though, when Falls sing this to you, it’s doesn’t hurt. As much, anyway. Below is a live performance in Sydney of the duo performing it.

But not everyone wants to be sad, yeah? For its hand-clapping sing-along likeability and therefore having the best chance for mainstream success, ‘Hey’ and ‘Home’ can’t be beat. The former is upbeat and infectiously so, which goes with its message of telling a friend that everything’s going to be okay in the end. The video for ‘Home’ that was unveiled when the song was released as a single in their native Australia 2 years ago shows the duo hanging out with the undead ‘at home’ and I think it was a brave choice to do this with the promo, something a little different to shake things up. The take home message I get from the song is the lyric, “it all comes back the moment I get home”: when you come back ‘home’, whether it is a physical place or to the people you love, all the memories you have of that time and place come flooding back. And that’s a very good thing.

As are Falls. They are ready for their spotlight on the world stage.

8.5/10

Falls’ debut EP in America, ‘Into the Fire’, is out on digital format now on Verve / Universal. The EP in physical format will be available on the 11th of March stateside. This timing is perfect, as the duo will be showcasing at SXSW 2014.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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