Before they were a band, they were a couple. And before they were a complete band, they toured Europe. It might not be the proper order of things, but for Tu Fawning there is no correct way to do this, seeing as the band's foundation has been around the block—and in the van—long enough to know that little good comes from putting too much faith in the traditional structure of independent music. The band, Joe Haege (31Knots) and his better half, Corrina Repp, started up last year, traversed the globe, doubled in size, and now are prepared to release a flawless debut EP entitled Secession.
Following their rapid ascent, the European tour fell off the rails due to poor booking, and the band decided that there was no better time than an overseas trip gone awry to focus on their internal structure.
Says Repp, "During our long drives during the day we started planning this band in our head that didn't exist. 'What if Liza [Rietz] played violin on that song, and Toussaint [Perrault] could play trumpet?' We emailed them from the road and they both said yes."
The addition of Rietz (Swords) and Perrault has fleshed out the once-sparse Tu Fawning sound. As a quartet their decadently assembled sleepwalking ballads sound as they were intended—stylistically morose, painstakingly enduring, and utterly gorgeous. It's a haunting recording of deliberate keyboards, patient drums, and the drawn-out, rich voice of Repp. All that's missing from this ghostly ensemble is the floating candelabra and the walls that bleed.
Primarily known as a heart-on-her-sleeve singer/songwriter, Repp's voice has undergone a vast transition in her new role. Gone are the hushed whispers of introspective, emotive songs structured around strummed guitar or caressed piano. Here, Repp has honed her vibrant voice to belt out peaking crescendos with dramatic flair, making it the most prominent highlight of Tu Fawning's tempered music. The patience on Secession is due in part to the deliberate delay in birthing the project; the real-life couple of Haege and Repp waited years before actually writing music together.
According to Repp, "We're both used to steering the ship, but it wouldn't have worked if we did it right away."