I sometimes get an anxious feeling when I go to listen to new material by an artist I’ve become familiar with. In this case, it’s Fossil Collective’s album ‘Tell Where I Lie’, I enjoyed their ‘Let it Go’ EP so much that I didn’t want to have a sinking feeling.
‘Tell Where I Lie’, opens with ‘Let It Go’, this obviously is a good start, settling in with what we know. The Leeds based duo of David Fendick and Jonny Hooker, alonside their collective friends, have a knack of taking their early seventies influences, adding contemporary qualities, little things in the production and turning it into something beautiful. ‘Under My Arrest’ starts off with a simple guitar/simple drum beat intro a a la Shaun Mullins and draws you in until you’re surrounded with beautiful harmonies.
Writing about music you don’t like is easy, writing about about something you’ve grown to love is hard and Fossil Collective have made this task extremely difficult, they’ve made me fall in love with their music.
Through the journey of ‘Tell Where I Lie’, the songwriting talents of FC and the warm production of the tracks wraps you in a safe blanket of goodness. They do wear their hearts on their sleeves, ‘Wolves’ displays a Fleetwood Mac influence (nothing wrong with that!) but even if you’re hearing these songs for the first time, there’s a familiarity with their melodies and guitar lines, you’ll be humming along by the end of the track. Fossil Collective are the kind of band Dave Grohl would love to record onto tape with his Neve desk.
Half way through the album, a natural end to side one if you will, ‘Monument’ boasts a simple starkness with acoustic guitar on one side, electric on the other, which leaves the vocals and beautifully subtle harmonies to shine through. The production on this track then cleverly uses reversed sounds before a fuller band sound emerges, simply stunning.
The upbeat ‘On and On’ then kicks off the next part of the record but it’s ‘The Magpie’, the longest track on the album that catches your scribe’s ears. The track starts off as an uptempo finger plucked acoustic track which builds up as other instruments are added to the mix and the layers of harmonies become heavenly. The track dies and slowly builds up again with instrumentation and vocal ‘ooohs’, to become a perfect Summer song.
The following track ‘How was I To Know’ is in complete contrast with its predecessor. It’s a simple acoustic guitar and vocal and sounds like it was recorded on location. Gentle harmonies and piano notes dot the soundscape for something pure which possesses a tangible realness. The album finishes with ‘In a Northern Sky’ and sees Fossil Collective in a reflective pensive mood, electric guitar with vocal harmonies washed in reverb.
As the last note dies, the first full chapter of the Fossil Collective story ends. I don’t have the sinking feeling I dreaded. This album is like an old friend, that reassures you everything will be ok, saying the right things at the right time. It’s the kind of album that leaves that fuzzy feeling with you long after it’s ended. It’s simply perfect.
Where Tell I Lie is out now. Fossil Collective play Whelan’s on Friday 10th May, tickets from ticketmaster.ie