Album Review: Fossil Collective – Tell Where I Lie

Steve Buttercase 9 April 2013

It’s not easy to stand out amongst the many expert exponents in the folk song-writing genre at the moment – too immediate and you could be dismissed as disposable, but write songs that burn too slowly and you risk them never being heard at all.

As a band Fossil Collective cite Simon & Garfunkel and Fleetwood Mac as influences. I suspect they mean “Rumours” period Fleetwood Mac, as there is precious little in the way of Peter Green style Les Paul blues on this album. The point is that both those acts successfully crafted songs that immediately grabbed the attention, but then endured (who doesn’t sing along to “The Boxer” and “Don’t Stop” when they think nobody’s watching) and it is no surprise that Fossil Collective have managed the same.

The song “On & On” was a massive Youtube success on the back of a catchy melody, close harmonies and some lovely stop-go animation, reminiscent of the film version of Roald Dahl’s “Fantastic Mr Fox”. Then there is the single “Let It Go” which has a similarly instant appeal. Great chorus! Great harmonies!

Listening to the rest of the album for the first time you may struggle to find any more songs with such immediacy – but persevere, for there is reward in it.

Tracks like “Wolves” and “Monument” are beautiful growers that actually serve to elevate the whole album, proving that it is great songs that endure and always transcend vogue and fashion.

Musically this band exudes talent as well. There are quieter passages of such crafted excellence they remind me of late Talk Talk, and occasionally Anthony & The Johnsons, and yet at the same time they are unafraid of combining their haunting ambient harmonies with highly original modern drum loops.

The album employs many versatile instrumentalists, seemingly utilised according to the needs of each song, but that doesn’t make the whole album any more disparate or impersonal. It reflects its influences but still retains an identity.

Music this good usually get everyone’s attention sooner or later so I suspect it is a name you will become familiar with.

Tracks to Download: “Let It Go”; “Monument”; “On & On”; “The Magpie”

Steve Buttercase